For immediate release - September 19, 2007
Contact: Karen Pickett 510-548-3113
Attorney Jerry Singleton 619-405-3056
Hung Jury in Favor of Acquittal in Rod Coronado Free Speech Case
San Diego, Calif.-After more than two full days of deliberation, a 12-person jury
informed Judge Jeffrey Miller they were hopelessly deadlocked and determined that
further deliberation would not deliver unanimity. Outside the courtroom, attorneys
were informed that the majority was voting for acquittal of the environmental and
animal rights activist on trial for a speech he gave in San Diego in 2003. In order
to convict under the obscure statute, (18 USC § 842 (p)(2)(A)), which makes it a
crime to demonstrate how to build a destructive device with the intent that it be
used in furtherance of a crime of violence), the jury would have had to determine on
three criteria: that his speech was instructive, that he had intent to incite those
present to violent action, and that the incitement was to imminent action.
Otherwise, such speech is protected under the First Amendment. A status conference
was scheduled for September 28 in the same court to determine whether the case will
continue. Rod Coronado is headed home to Tucson, Arizona with his wife to reunite
with his children and return to his job.
Omar Figueroa, an attorney on the legal team said, "We had a good jury and they
upheld the Constitution. It's a great day for Constitutional Rights."
Attorney Tony Serra, also part of the legal team said, "If these prosecutors opt to
re-try this case, then they are the puppets we know they are, in the business of
suppressing Constitutional rights. We hung the jury probably 10-2 or 9-3 (that
specific information was not available from the jurors), so we know they can never
win. So they would be fools to retry, but this is political and their agenda is
political. If they re-try, we will win again."
Attorney Jerry Singleton reminded those present that Coronado has not been an
advocate of direct action since 2006, and in fact renounced the type of direct
action he formerly participated in, and is opting instead to work on building
sustainable communities with his family.