U.S. Domestic Torture
is Important for "Harvesting" Ancient Trees
victorious third time around.
for interviews by Jan Lundberg
of pepperspray victims and one of the plaintiffs' lawyers,
plus relevant music, visit Steppin'
Out of Babylon (suesupriano.com)
The second Federal Trial in San
Francisco with a new judge took place. The jury was deadlocked and
a mistrial declared Sept. 22. Read our
report (Sept. 19).
rising up: protest and jury-vote confirmation
Spring: "So you still want to do this to
Former Sheriff Lewis: "I'm retired."
Spring: "You're a defendant."
Second Trial background
The retrial of the
pepper-spray via Q-tip torture case began with its new
judge Sept. 8. A mistrial was declared on September 22, 2004.
Defendants Humboldt County, former Sheriff Dennis Lewis, former
Chief Deputy and current Sheriff Gary Philp and the city of Eureka had earlier
requested the U.S. Supreme court to overturn a ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals, which found the original trial Judge Vaughn Walkerís ìcourtís
actions reveal an appearance of an absence of impartiality sufficient to warrant
reassigning this case.î
The plaintiffs got a writ of mandamus, reassigning the case to
another judge, and restoring the case to San Francisco for trial.
The case was dismissed in 1998 after the jury
deadlocked 4-4, and the successful appeal brought the retrial before the same
judge who wanted the re-trial held in Eureka--bad for the plaintiffs to get a
fair trial. The Appeals Court sided with plaintiffs in finding that
"Eureka and Humboldt County are known for their strong ties to the logging
industry and that there have been many incidents of hostility directed toward
environmental activists in Eureka and its environs." The U.S. Supreme
Court has backed up the Ninth Circuit in determining the officers used
unconstitutional, excessive force, and that the Sheriff and chief Deputy Sheriff
are liable for damages. For more info, see nopepperspray.org
songs on pepper spray event.
Case from Humboldt County (1998
by Jan Lundberg
Clinton and his kinder,
gentler police state announced in December that the executive branch and
some of the judicial accept the pepper spraying of nonviolent protesters. The feds must have figured that the publicís uproar on police torture of
the forest defenders was not going to rematerialize. ìToo good to
turn downî must have been the temptation, when central authority wants
to control its citizens who may exercise their ìConstitutional rights.î
Not to trade on the family connection, this magazineís Editor has scarcely
mentioned his daughterís participation in one of the pepper-spray
sit-ins, televised internationally on Halloween of 1997. But an Auto-Free
Times interview, with her and one of her fellow torture victims (co-plaintiffs
in a civil rights court case), covering topics such as roadsí role in deforestation,
protests tactics, is in the making. The state of their case is an
appeal of a federal judgeís nonsensical decision that no reasonable juror
would find the pepper spraying to be excessive force. Four jurors out of
eight had said it was.
To make tax-deductible donations to support the pepper-spray
plaintiff's legal fight online, click
here or send a check to: The Trees Foundation, Pepper Spray Legal
Fund, P.O. Box 2202, Redway, CA 95560 USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
To see plaintiff Spring
Lundberg playing with The Depavers, Culture Change's in- house band, click
Read Spring Lundberg's Declaration
of Oct. 29, 1997