Monday, November 13, 2006

Ecosabotage Guilty Pleas

Four people pleaded guilty to arson charges last week in federal court in Eugene, OR. 4 more plead guilty in ecosabotage cases: trial may be avoided, Nov. 10, 2006. One remaining defendant has not entered a plea.

According to the Seattle Times article:

The guilty pleas reflect the strength of the government's evidence, which was bolstered by extensive informants' testimony. The pleas also reflect the harsh consequences should defendants risk a trial and end up being convicted.
Sentenced might have been 30 years or life, but with the pleas, the government is recommending 8 years for three defendants and 5 years for the fourth.

Trial Ad instructor Amanda Lee represented defendant Daniel McGowan:
"I hope you will see that my actions were not those of a terrorist, but of a concerned young person who was deeply troubled by the destruction of Oregon's beautiful old-growth forests and the dangers of genetically modified trees," McGowan, 32, of New York City, said in a tearful statement in court. "... I realized that burning things down did not fit with my visions or belief about how to create a better world. So I stopped committing these crimes."
Defense attorneys had asked that the court order the prosecution to say whether NSA warrantless wiretaps had been used. The prosecutors said surveillance was not a factor but Lee "said the timing of the plea agreement led her to believe it was."

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