Grand Jury Resister Faces More Time than Animal Liberationists

A Utah animal rights activist who resisted a federal grand jury is now facing even more prison time than those he was brought to testify against.

Jordan Halliday, who was the founder of a local animal rights group, The Animal Defense League of Salt Lake City, was brought before the federal grand jury under suspicions he might know information regarding recent underground animal liberation activity. He asserted his 5th amendment and was placed in federal custody for nearly 4 months under civil contempt of court, to try and compel him to testify.

Alex Hall and William Viehl were both indicted, convicted and sentenced to 24 months and 21 months respectively for their roles in releasing mink from a South Jordan, Utah mink farm.

Upon being released Halliday was charged with federal criminal contempt of court.

Halliday is the first dissident in decades (with only 2 other radicals prior in the 1970's) to be charged with criminal contempt after already serving time for civil contempt for the same act of recalcitrance.

Halliday, pleaded guilty to Sui Generis Criminal Contempt of Court and is now facing even more prison time. There are no sentencing guidelines for criminal contempt. However, the prosecution is trying to follow the guidelines of "obstruction of justice" with which Halliday was not charged. These guidelines have a maximum of 2 years with room for additional time with added enhancements.

The government has openly stated that Halliday is not a suspect in the Animal Liberation case, yet he is still facing even more time than those who were convicted.

His sentencing is set for October 19th, 2010 at the Frank E. Moss Federal Courthouse.

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