Yesterday was a difficult day. We all knew what Eric was facing, and we understood the vehemence with which the government was pursuing this case. But nothing could ever fully prepare us for the kind of heinous sentence that Eric received. It is clear from the reports in the media and the
statements made by the US Attorneys that Eric was entrapped and used as an example to anyone who dares to dream of how things could be different in this world.
After passing through the metal detectors downstairs, everyone attending Eric's sentencing was required, by order of Judge England, to pass through a line of Marshall's outside the courtroom and undergo the metal detector wand, as well as a complete search of any bags. This ridiculous spectacle was clearly an attempt to harass Eric's friends and loved ones who came to show their support.
The courtroom was nearly full of Eric's family and friends. There were not enough seats behind the defense table to accommodate everyone, forcing others to spill over into the prosecutor's side of the court. Thanks to everyone who came out on Thursday.
It was clear from the first few sentences spoken by the judge that his mind was already made up. The same lies that were used at trial to convict Eric were repeated over and over again throughout the sentencing hearing. The government even had the audacity to claim that Eric had never had a re-ocurrance of pericarditis - despite the fact that his lawyer filed a memo with the court in November detailing Eric's worsening condition. Despite the fact that the jail received so many phone calls from Eric's supporters during that time that they posted a note on their website specifically asking people to stop calling. They had the audacity to claim that Eric was at no risk of harsh treatment in prison - despite the fact that he has ALREADY undergone 2 1/2 years of isolation at the Sacramento County Main Jail.
Despite the fact that probation recommended a sentence of 156 months (13 years), Judge England deferred (as usual) to the government's recommendation of 235 months (19 years and 7 months). The length of Eric's sentence was due largely to the application of the Terrorism Enhancement. The government has argued quite vociferously all along for this enhancement. The basis of their argument is that Eric's targets included government facilities (such as the IFG) - a point which was never proven during trial, and was, in fact, denied by the government's own witnesses. But the judge applied the enhancement anyway. The judge ordered 3 years of supervised release after Eric's sentenced is served, the collection of a DNA sample and registration as an "arson offender".
Now is the time to be outraged and make noise. The government just sentenced Eric to 20 years for a crime that was never committed. This is the longest sentence we have heard of in an American environmental case. Eric's case and sentence illustrate the lengths the government goes
to , and how much they can get away with, in their pursuit of those who voice their dissent - who maintain their integrity and stay true to their principles and all that makes them human. Please help spread the word about Eric, his case, and it's implications for everyone who cares about effecting real change.
Eric says he can feel all the love being sent his way. Please keep it up. Take a moment to send Eric a note of support during this difficult time.
His address is:
McDavid, Eric x-2972521 7E128
Sacramento County Main Jail
651 "I" Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Eric could be moved any time in the next month or two to a federal facility, but please don't let that deter you from writing! We will let everyone know as soon as we get word that he is being moved. Until then, keep the letters coming.
Eric will now be appealing his conviction. Unfortunately, this can be a very long process. Please don't forget about Eric during this time. He will continue needing your support throughout his time in prison. When he reaches a federal facility we will send out a statement about his support needs at that time.
Thanks again to all of you. The amount of love and support you have given has been truly amazing. We are so thankful to have all of you helping us through these difficult times.