Friday, March 01, 2013

2 Grand Jury Resisters released

If you haven't already heard, two of the remaining three Grand Jury Resisters were released earlier this week.

According to the Seattle Times (here & here) and Salon (here), Matt Duran and Kteeo Olejnik were taken into custody (which I guess is different from being arrested?) September of last year, after refusing to testify against other activists in relation to last year's May Day protests (here). Maddy Pfeiffer, who was "taken into custody" in December, remains confined. None of them have been charged with any crime, though charges of "criminal contempt" are a future possibility. According to an affidavit signed by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (reports the Seattle Times), the Feds had been following them since April 2012.

Leah-Lynn Plante was also "taken into custody" last year, but was released shortly thereafter.

You might remember from elementary civics that the Sixth Amendment guarantees a speedy trial to the accused, so that they don't languish in jail indefinitely? Well, that protection doesn't apply to the unaccused.

The release order for Matt and Kteeo was written by the Honorable Dick Jones (here). It's an extraordinary document: Jones' reasoning is that A) the confinement was meant to "coerce" testimony from Matt and Kteeo, B) after five months confinement, it appears unlikely that either will break down and testify before the eighteen-month limit on their imprisonment passes; so, C) they should be released. That's right: because their imprisonment is unlikely to coerce them, they should be released. Without euphemism or trumped-up charges, the release order frankly acknowledges imprisonment without charge as a tactic of coercion by the government.

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