2011-07-28 03:22:41Tim DeChristopher statement at sentencing hearing
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Tim is the guy that disrupted the BLM land auctions a year or two ago.  He makes a very powerful statement here that is a MUST read.

2011-07-28 03:53:28
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Rob,  very poweful indeed.  The man has integrity, principles and balls of steel to boot.

2011-07-28 03:57:03
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

I found it particularly interesting that an oil industry lobbyist knew the terms of the indictment prior to anyone else.  That's just outrageous.

2011-07-28 04:02:01
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Yup. I also Goggled. He got 2 years and $10 000.  And the auction was not even legitimate and was later reversed.

2011-07-28 04:35:28
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.38.190

What has surprised me in this case: Why hasn't the ACLU, Sierra Club, or any of a number of lawsuit-capable and well-oiled machines gotten involved in this case? Why is DeChristopher so much on his own in this matter?

2011-07-28 04:36:16
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

From this this Guardian article you get the sense that the judge pretty well straight-jacketed the jury.  They've said they are appealing and, by the sounds of it, they should easily get it.

2011-07-28 04:42:49
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

The whole thing fascinates me because DeChristopher's case really does seem to cut to the heart of fundamental problems we're having in the US today with corporate influence in government.  

And it really helps that DeChristopher is so articulate and well informed on this issues.  

2011-07-28 04:53:52
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Juries are always given instructions by the judge, that part is not unusual, it is also normal for the judge to pass sentence. The jury are only there to decide the verdict based on the lawyers 'performance'. They definitely can not be told what sentence the judge might pass after they have made a decision, that would definitely distort the result.

The jury also has no idea what the accused previous convictions are.

BTW, I have done jury service. We had a grievous bodily harm case to decide.

Added: also the judge was correct to direct the jury to not base their decision based on 'conscience'. Not sure why he would expect any different!

2011-07-28 18:24:28
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

I should probably qualify my last comment.
I think the guy was doing something innovative and important. My point was that his view of events in court maybe coloured by his own views and perceptions. I don't honestly know without significantly more detail. His hope that the jury would vote for him based on conscience is a bit naive, although it does probably happen.

I think at most he should get a suspended sentence or a few months and thats based on the assumption that what he did should even be classed as something illegal. Not sure what the law is in the UK regarding failure to pay up an auction bill or biding up?? I'm sure it happens, but I don't know if anyone is ever convicted. I suspect it is a civil case, which requires a lot of cash, so the auction house would just start again, instead of paying for an expensive court case.

If it is a civil case then the fact that it went to court means the companies involved thought it was worth while trying to nail him. The motives for doing so have little to do with court procedure.

2011-07-29 21:29:10
logicman

logicman_alf@yahoo.co...
86.177.51.236

That judge either doesn't know the common law or else deliberately mis-instructed the jury.  Every jury has an absolute right to determine a case according to its collective conscience.

 

"The jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both the law and the facts."

Oliver Wendell Holmes.

 

The foundation of the right of a jury to act according to conscience was laid when a jury refused to bring in a guilty verdict at the direction of a judge.  The mere fact that a person has obviously contravened a written law does not make him necessarily guilty of any wrongdoing in the eyes of the public at large.  A properly constituted jury is a sample of the public at large.

http://www.personal.psu.edu/jph13/JuryNullification.html

The modern parallel to this is the Nuremberg principle: obedience to higher authority does not excuse unconsionable behavior.

2011-07-29 21:40:19
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Logicman

The sort of conscience being impied here isn't the same.
If the jury voted to let him off the hook because they had sympathy with his views, that wouldn't be within the bounds of the law. If they voted with their conscience as a result of one of the lawyers making a good case, then that makes sense. Assuming the judge directed the jury to put aside their personal views on the subject, then he probably did the right thing.

The Nuremburg principle you quote refers to the defendants, not the judge, jury or anyone else in the court, so I think you are misusing the context. The Judge isn't actually the person that was on trial!

Also the Nuremburg trial was effectively a criminal case, unless I am mistaken, this wasn't. The Nazi's on trial had commited a crime in the past (killed people), as such you can't apply the same principle to possible deaths in the future. You have to have commited the act of murder or whatever first, before being trialed.

2011-07-29 22:09:46
logicman

logicman_alf@yahoo.co...
86.177.51.236

Paul: I clearly stated that the Nuremberg principle is parallel to the principle of jury freedom.  Of course it is not directly applicable to the people in this case.

 

"If the jury voted to let him off the hook because they had sympathy with his views, that wouldn't be within the bounds of the law."

If sympathy with a defendant's views equates to an acceptance of what constitutes the public interest, then that is exactly what a jury is entitled to do.  It is what the jury did in the cases of William Penn and William Mead (UK 1670) and John Peter Zenger (US 1735).

A jury has an absolute right to decide that a specific law is obsolete, archaic, obtuse, tyranical or just plain wrong; they also have an absolute right to acquit if they believe that a defendant acted in the best public interest - but judges never tell the jury that they have these great powers.

2011-07-30 00:07:12
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

My statement was actually correct Logicman. If the jury voted without respect for the law, it would be out of 'bounds'. The fact that they might disagree with the law, means they thought the boundaries needed to change!
It's not the judges place to instruct the jury to make a decision that would mean the law would change. eg. the judge can't tell the jury to be easy on the defendant if that would have meant a change in law, although the jury itself could make such a decision.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_nullification

2011-07-30 07:19:37
logicman

logicman_alf@yahoo.co...
86.177.51.236

Paul: have you ever mooted ?  I think you would do rather well at it.

http://www.oup.co.uk/academic/highereducation/law/mooting/more/

2011-07-30 18:28:54
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Heh, heh, heh.
I admit I am playing devils advocate here, at least a bit.

2011-07-30 18:29:41
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

BTW, what happened to the site yesterday??

Software upgrade??
Or was it hacked?