DeChristopher Gets Two Years

Judge gives climate activist jail time


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A federal judge in Salt Lake City has sentenced climate activist Tim DeChristopher to two years in prison for placing false bids in an oil and gas lease auction during the final days of the Bush administration in 2008. On Tuesday afternoon, Judge Dee Benson read the sentence, which includes three years of supervised release and a $10,000 fine, to cries of outrage from DeChristopher’s supporters. One woman shouted “This judge is a spineless bastard!” DeChristopher, 30, was then escorted from the courtroom in handcuffs. Defense attorney Ron Yengich had asked for probation instead of jail, arguing that DeChristopher’s “crimes were not committed to harm anyone.” Prosecutors, citing his lack of remorse, called for a harsher sentence, though they stopped short of asking for the maximum ten-year term. As news of the ruling trickled out, supporters from DeChristopher’s organization Peaceful Uprising began protesting outside the courthouse, blocking its entrance and chanting “Justice is not found here.” A group of about 30 activists staged a sit-in in the intersection of Main and 400 South Street in downtown Salt Lake City. DeChristopher is now being held in the Davis County Jail in Farmington, Utah, while Bureau of Prisons officials decide where he will serve his sentence.

Read more at the Salt Lake Tribune