February 28, 2008 (Eugene, OR)- This morning at 9:00am in Lane County Circuit Court the re-sentencing hearing for Jeffrey Luers took place in front of Judge Billings. This followed an Oregon court of appeals ruling in February 2007 that Luers original sentence of 22 years 8 months by Judge Lyle Velure was illegal, and the appeals court remanded the case back to Lane County Circuit Court for re-sentencing. Following the appeals court decision, negotiations have resulted in the decision today to reduce Luers sentence to 10 years, bringing his release date to late December 2009. |
In June 2001, then 23 year-old Jeffrey "Free" Luers was arrested for the burning of three trucks at a Eugene car dealership. His stated purpose was to raise awareness about global warming and the role that SUVs and trucks play in that process. Despite the fact that this action hurt no one, caused only $28,000 in damages and the cars were later resold, Luers received the draconian sentence. Luers gained support locally as well as all over the world as a political prisoner. It is widely believed that Luers received such a drastic sentence because of the political nature of the action he took. Following his original sentence, Amnesty International and the Eugene Human Rights Commission (EHRC) issued letters of support citing that the sentence appeared to be politically motivated.
Jeff Luers statement to the court