Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Targeting Protestors in Santa Cruz

With the Patriot Act in hand, U.S. Attorneys from the Rove Republican Racket love to call political opponents terrorists or corrupt.

In Santa Cruz, California a few animal rights activists were targeted by over-zealous federal prosecutors, but the case was dismissed on Monday.

Although prosecutors want to target these activists again, we suspect the four protestors aren't high-paying Republicans.

The San Jose Mercury News reports:

A federal judge on Monday dismissed the indictment against four animal rights activists accused of a violent protest at the home of a UC Santa Cruz researcher more than a year and a half ago, but attorneys involved in the case estimated the legal battle is far from over. U.S. District Court Judge Ronald White, who heard arguments on the motions to dismiss the case a month ago, sided with the activists in a 14-page ruling issued Monday. "...(T)he indictment fails to allege the facts of the crimes charged with sufficient specificity," the judge's ruling stated.

Joseph Buddenberg, Maryam Khajavi, Nathan Pope and Adriana Stumpo were arrested in February 2009 and charged with interfering with animal enterprise - a violation of a federal law - and conspiracy. Attorneys for the four filed motions this spring that challenged the indictment, stating in court documents that the allegations were too vague and failed to outline the criminal behavior the group is accused of taking part in. "The reason the indictment was so sketchy is because the government didn't want to put it out there in public that these people are accused of being terrorists for picketing," said Robert Bloom, attorney for Buddenberg. " ... It's not a crime to picket. Nobody has committed a crime in this case."

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