And Then There Were Three: Third Grand Jury Refuser Goes to Prison


While I don't agree with the vandalism or politics so called "anarchist" on mayday. The jail time that this girl is receiving is a travesty of justice.

That we can be held pretty much indefinitely with out trial, in a federal facility for a crime that was committed by someones else 200 miles away, should be a wake up a call for all of us. The broad reaching hand of the Federal Government can snatch up any of us for the perceived political crimes of our associates.

Too bad most of the Strangers demographic is too busy dick riding Obama to care about the Bill of Rights.

@1 - Most of the idiocy we get on threads like this one are people saying she got what's coming to her for not cooperating, and that's how the system works, and read yer contitushen befer ya talk to me about rights, and she should know better. And so on. Obama dick riding is for another thread.
Holy MFing GD MF ....GD... WTF

Ok, I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm seriously and EXTREMELY upset by this. I can't even hardly stay calm enough to type. WTF is going on here? How can we keep people in prison over nothing? I don't all.

As a Republican, I know how she feels.

To be persecuted I mean.
"Why is a person who might know something about a crime, but steadfastly insists she has her right to remain silent, facing more severe punishment (about 18 times more severe) than the person who was sentenced for actually committing that crime?"

She can steadfastly insist she has a right to remain silent all she wants; that doesn't make it so.
I have a right to provide grand jury testamony? Damn, I'm gonna crash some hearing and spout off!
Where is the ACLU? Where is the national "liberal" media?
@4 Get back to us when you've spent time in jail for refusing to talk.


Sometimes there are fates worst than that...not ready to document.

Same place they were when the Feds murdered Randy Weavers wife.

They tend to attack the marginalized on either side of the political spectrum.
Yes, this is what the Federal Court's Grand Jury looked like yesterday. It is Eric Holder's justice that Federal Judge R. A. Jones, and Federal Judge R.S. Lasnik participated in and praised yesterday in court ... respectively. Judge Lasnik had the condescending temerity to admonish a defendant in his court yesterday on a totally unrelated case for being seen by the judge dissenting on a previous day with respect to this Grand Jury's actions that resulted in the imprisonment described. The defendant in Judge Lasnik's court was put through this while the judge ruled that the defendant's own case not in the prosecutor's favor. Still the judge asked questions the defendant was expected to answer that were irrelevant to the defendant's case after what should have been the end of his time in court. That is intimidating. If the defendant had said something the judge found offending the judge's sensibilities concerning his own political opinions, would the judge have changed his verdict in the court? Certainly there was the possibility. This was an intimidating circumstance, and was not professional or just. Now how can you ask that this judge be reprimanded, as some of us would like to do, when his boss is Eric Holder whose egregious actions with respect to the solitary confinement of people who have not been convicted of a crime is itself potentially a threat to anyone who dares to not please the politics of the head of the Department of Justice or some of its judges in the federal court.

So Connie Rice, how would you fix that one? We have bigger problems than just a police department. We are not replete with gangs from the hoods. We are here being unjustly imprisoned. It is the moral code of the Department of Justice that needs to be fixed. Please, if you take out a contract with the city, understand that the problems are bigger than the city. Much bigger.

I envy her boyfriend though. She's pretty cute...imagine the conjugal visits after a few weeks of being "caged heat".

Paragraphs please...

But yes Eric Holder is criminal scum who needs to be put on trial for his participation in the Murder of a US Border Patrol agent as well as several hundred Mexican citizens. That is just the tip of the iceberg of the contempt this man has for the American people.
It seems to me they could meet their obligation to testify before the Grand Jury and answer all of the juicy questions with "Sorry, but I don't recall" like Ronald Reagan did with Iran/Contra.

@14- But they have more integrity than that.
Completely ridiculous. I think #14 has the right legal advice, but it doesn't have quite the punch as standing up against ridiculous/frivolous/politically motivated questioning by refusing to answer questions.

With regard to the grand jury's empanelment:

It's worth noting that there's *always* a grand jury empaneled at the federal court, at least in the W.D. of Washington. I believe they serve six months at a time (although it could be a year?), and they'll sit for whatever the DOJ throws their way until their time's up. So no, the jury was not empaneled just to go after anarchists. Doesn't make the whole thing any less ridiculous.
Thanks very much for this piece, Mr. Kiley. Using the grand jury in this manner to harass and intimidate people is wrong and I know I'm not alone re: that. BTW, just want everyone to know I'm an anarchist now. Yup, just got sworn in at the anarchist club last night so I'm guessing I can expect my door to be kicked in some morning at 5:00am any day now. I'm really not looking forward to that, and of course I hope that's not the day I decide to have a fatal heart attack, but hey, if law enforcement agencies can kick in a person's door for nothing more than being a self-proclaimed anarchist, and there's no oversight in the law to protect people and there's no one to stop this travesty of justice? Hell, nothing stopping the same thing from happening to me or anyone else, is there? Kidding (of course) about getting sworn in at the anarchist club last night, but so many in the media portray anarchists as a coordinated army of people who are all working together and know what everyone else is up to. Well gosh, that would be neato (in a magical farcical bizarro way) but honestly, would that make sense even if it were possible? The people I've met who identify as anarchists seem to be divergent in tactics and beliefs and don't always agree with the tactics and beliefs of some other anarchists. But I digress...It's wrong what's happening to these young people, and if anyone knows who's "in charge" of this nonsense so I can personally squawk at them and tell them how wrong I think it is, please comment.
Ditto #14: Can any lawyerly types weigh in with why a Reaganesque "I just don't recall" answer wouldn't be adequate to any question posed by the grand jury? I mean really, for good goddamn christ's sake- if the fucking alzheimer's riddled president could get away with it, why couldn't an ordinary citizen play along with the grand jury's subpoena and testify under oath that they just don't remember?

How is the grand jury going to prove they aren't lying under oath?
It's another case of OMG the US is operating like the US operates. Is this really news to people? That's what's sad. Learn how yer friggin' gubmint works, goobers.
There are probably any number of ways a person could sit for the grand jury and not give them a thing. "I don't know", "I don't remember", "fuck off", are all probably fine answers. It would also be a great way to find out what the questions are and possibly learn something that might be useful. There are some issues I guess about "talking to the authorities"? People can get called out for being snitches very quickly (whether they actually are or not) and many times the authorities work to make people believe someone has talked to play people against each other. But me, I think I'd take my chances answering the questions without actually telling them anything.
I once served on a grand jury (not Federal ... it was in Jefferson County, Kentucky). We sat for a month, as I recall.

This grand jury shocked the hell out of the county prosecutor when we declined to indict in one case. The accused testified before us -- that was very unusual, we ordinarily heard only the prosecution's evidence and thoughts -- and was so utterly convincing that he got to walk away.

The best thing about serving on a grand jury is that you actually get to ask questions.
She's pretty hot.
HAHAHA these anarchists sure are showing the slog democratrolls who's a naive child and who's a real grown up. any of you democratrolls wanna spend a year and a half in prison for your political beliefs? dont think its about political beliefs? DID YOU SEE THE SEARCH WARRANT???? so think about that next time you call them trustafarians :::FARRRRRTTT:::: you are probably just a future snitch, and these anarchists will have long since put you to shame!
"Why was the only federally identified May Day vandal sentenced to time served (about a month) while people granted immunity from prosecution—Plante says government attorneys don't dispute that she wasn't even in Seattle on May Day—are looking down the barrel of 18 months in federal custody? Why is a person who might know something about a crime, but steadfastly insists she has her right to remain silent, facing more severe punishment (about 18 times more severe) than the person who was sentenced for actually committing that crime?"

It is called political prison.
The Fifth Amendment protects a person's right to remain silent so as not to incriminate themselves. The court is not asking her to incriminate herself. The Fifth Amendment does not protect a person for remaining silent about the criminal activity of others.
We have federal agents kicking in doors looking for dangerous literature, and Plante is held up as an enemy of the state, an enemy of our sacred freedoms.


To play Devil's Advocate: how different would our reactions be if the crime were something that actually disturbed us? What if someone was refusing to talk about the murder of a child? We wouldn't use the word "snitch." Of course, this crime is not as serious, but the thought experiment reveals this: the principle of justice for all trumps an individual's right to remain silent. We can't just check out of society whenever we don't feel like dealing with it. We need each other's truths.
@29: Holding someone in federal custody for eighteen months with no charge and with no crime committed is injustice. That is the point. It has nothing to do with the crime she is allegedly covering up.

"Allegedly" is the key term there. Courts can't just check out of society whenever they don't feel like dealing with due process.
#27- When you testify in court it's possible to unintentionally give testimony that could eventually be use against you, that's constitutionally prohibited, hence the multiple immunity hearings that released the witnesses from that restriction. Once that legal hurdle was cleared, yes, the court asked the three witnesses to give testimony against others, their refusal was the basis of civil contempt charges and jail time to compel them to change their mind.
The context is important. These people are being asked to give information on political activity that the government has deemed criminal, the secrecy of the whole thing is what is so spooky. What are they investigating? What crime occurred? Who is involved? What is the threshold for criminal activity here? If there were any trust in the good faith of the prosecutor there might be more cooperation, but as the FBI and the federal circuit judicial system have a history of finding criminals when it is politically convenient and allowing other crimes to go unpunished, the whole thing has the feeling of a witch hunt.

32, They are investigating the crime of destruction of property that was committed at the riots. Believe it of not smashing windows, and damaging property is actually considered a crime. If you don't think so, post your address, and invite people to destroy your property.
#32- Rob, do you read the papers? The jury was convened March 2 to begin investigation on some kind of crime that occurred before that. Now, as I understand it Grand Juries have broad scope to pull in lots of new evidence, and Mayday might be a part of that, but WE DON'T KNOW because the entire proceeding is secret. Kinda goes against the entire idea of seeking justice for injuries like broken windows.
As I've said before, windows were broken at my daughter's middle school last winter and I don't believe the feds put in three shifts a day solving that crime. These krazy kops in the 9th circuit are investigating something, and I don't think it's property destruction. The SPD has already kicked in a few doors this summer over that issue, and have yet to hand down an indictment or offer to repair the property destruction of busted door jambs. Still waiting for a better explanation just what the hell is going on.
34, The testimony they want from her pertains to the crime of destruction of property.
@33 There were no riots. There was a handful of assholes that broke some shit. And no one is investigating the damage to personal property (like the cars that got their windshields busted up), it is only that damage to the federal building in which someone has already been arrested, charged and let go.

This grand jury was called before the incidents of vandalism occurred. This started because the anarchists are tied to the Occupy movement, hence why the search warrant was largely comprised of collecting evidence of being part of a specific political group.
According to the warrant-inventory, signed by Detective Freisen, they took a black sweatshirt, a pink scarf, a pair of black goggles, "papers—notebook," a black bandana, a black stocking hat, and "paperwork—anarchists in the Occupy movement."

You know if this was happening to members of the Tea Party, Obama would be impeached.
Remove your feelings about anarchists from the equation and ask yourself this; Are you really comfortable with State + Federal authorities busting down doors and throwing people in Federal prison simply for belonging to a group and refusing to answer any questions about that group? I'm not comfortable with that at all. If a person commits a crime, arrest them. Where is the crime here?
This incident reminds me that it would be a good time for all of us to check our bookshelves and take a hard look at our online associations.

Many of us have books and friendships that might be difficult to explain to a federal prosecutor. It is always prudent to dispose of problematic reading material as soon as possible, and to discontinue relationships with anyone whose commitment to property rights and free market principles could be called into question.

If you are uncertain about what kinds of media and literature might get you into trouble, simply consult the community service personnel at your local police precinct office. They will be happy to assist in your efforts to defend American values.

Don't forget to vote Nov. 6!

We'll be watching!
36, More than one person was involved in the destruction, and I've seen the videos. It was a riot.
BEST COMMENTS: @19, BLUE, with @25, the second from the best

And yes, Obama dick riding is EXACTLY what this is about, and Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer should be in chains in an underground dungeon, along with the previous four AGs and their assistants, and Obama, and Biden, and Cheney and Bush and Rumsfeld and Lieberman.

Which brings up a pointed question: Why was the only federally identified May Day vandal sentenced to time served (about a month) while people granted immunity from prosecution—Plante says government attorneys don't dispute that she wasn't even in Seattle on May Day....

It's called indefinite detention, anti-habeas corpus, anti-due process, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Eric Holder, and on and on, but especially, the bankster party, made up of two branches, the stinking dems and the demonic r-cons.

Vote Green, vote Dr. Jill Stein --- or forever STFU about the Wall Street stooges doing what the Wall Street stooges ALWAYS do.
And to put this in proper perspective: Around 2007 to 2009, the banksters, or Transnational Capitalist Class, stole approximately $17 trillion from everyone.

Now that, children, is one serious frigging crime.

Riots are forces of nature that come and go, yeah, more than one person was involved that's what a mob does. Fer the love of Elvis, let go of this idea that law men are closing in on a grand conspiracy to break windows, any asshole can do that. The grand jury is trying to keep the paychecks flowing for the informants who keep sending them useless chatter, bored cops hoping to root out the evil dissidents causing so much trouble for the peaceable kingdom, basically one big wet dream by control freaks who don't understand the instability caused by rising food and energy costs, flat wages and political stagnation.
@29: This exact same scenario played out when Judith Miller, reporter for the NYT, refused to reveal her sources to the special prosecutor investigating the Plame leak. Given the nature of the crime, and the obvious abuse of power taking place in the Vice President's office, I was happy to see Miller sit in jail for protecting Libby and Rove.

In this case, however, we're talking about some broken windows. This isn't a good use of the grand jury process or our tax dollars. This is an agency bloated by homeland security funds trying to justify its existence.
Horseshit 33 Did you even read the article
"Why was the only federally identified May Day vandal sentenced to time served (about a month) while people granted immunity from prosecution—Plante says government attorneys don't dispute that she wasn't even in Seattle on May Day—are looking down the barrel of 18 months in federal custody?"
I guess Plante is the Manson Master Mind of Mayday controlling her vandalizing minion(s)? from another city, county or state. Explain how someone not even in Seattle could help what you call "investigating the crime of destruction of property" This has fuck all to do with justice & everything to do with intimidation & fear. As for the misguided who are promoting amnesia or I don't recall as an option what your advocating is lying which is BS. I applaud & admire Plante for standing up for my rights & freedoms by remaining silent when she could have easily testified. By refusing to allow these heavy handed government tactics to force you to lower your principles you've shown us all there is no level a feeble & pathetic iron heel won't stoop below to trample basic human rights & freedoms. 2 years for Pussy Riot, 18 Months For Plante you ladies have more balls & integrity than all the numb nuts posting about this BS combined. Thank you ever so much ladies your deeds will not be forgotten.
"Here, inmate. You'll want to brush up on this handbook" ~… [I'd be terrified if this happened to me, and looking at over a year for simply choosing not to speak about a group you happen to be a part of?! Not OK, and I still would like someone to let me know who I can contact about this.]
There is no right to remain silent, nor is there a right to be free of searches. You can't be forced to testify against yourself, but if the government waived incrimination then you have to talk. As for searches, if there's a warrant based on probable cause, you and your abode and your things can be searched.

Poor Miss White Privilege is getting her lesson in constitutional law, and so should The Stranger and its dumbshit readers.
@25- You're not helping anything.

@45- Harassing leftists isn't getting to the bottom of a string of petty property crimes. This is exactly the same as arresting Jews because some guys with hats and beards broke some windows.

No person ... shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself ...

If there's no criminal case, then no one would be a witness against himself. That's why they grant immunity. She has the immunity, so now she must testify or she will rot in jail.

no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized

If they get a warrant that meets those conditions, they can search to their hearts' content.
You have the right to remain silent to prevent incriminating yourself. The right doesn't extend to avoid incriminating others. If a person has knowledge of a crime, even if that person was not present at the scene of the crime, he or she can be compelled to testify in court. That person can refuse, but will face the consequences of doing so.
She is being locked up for refusing to testify, not for her politics or for whatever crimes were committed.
"Since their inception, both in England and in the United States, grand juries have been used against political dissidents, the jurors often being hand-picked to ensure indictment. A modern variation on this abuse of power relies on political activists’ reluctance to inform on their comrades. Activists are subpoenaed with the expectation that they will refuse to testify, and thus end up in jail for lengthy periods (thereby immobilizing that activist and deterring others)" ~ [re: Law Collective]

The above is my problem. Thanks to those who attempted to educate some of us about what the law is, except for the snarky asshats who were just being rude, of course. You people suck and apparently you always will.

I want information from City of Seattle about this. I've been curious from the get-go why May Day went down the way it did, and personally I'd like to put SPD on the hot seat for that one, not people who weren't even in the city that day.
#53, if you're going to riot, you'll have to face the consequences. If your friends or housemates are going to riot, you'd better expect to be questioned.
[from Summer Seattle Times article] ~ "Though Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Police Chief John Diaz praised the police response to the May Day protests, an internal memo given to Diaz suggested flawed planning contributed to widespread violence and vandalism, department sources familiar with the matter told The Seattle Times. A large part of the criticism focused on Assistant Police Chief Mike Sanford and his role in managing the city's response to the marches, including his sudden decision to rush into the downtown crowd to make an arrest, without protective gear. Officers clad in riot gear had to help pull him from a hostile crowd, diverting police resources from the increasingly violent noontime march that left store and car windows smashed."

Remember? I was there and I was shocked at how quickly the situation dissolved after Sanford charged the crowd. People were hurt who had nothing to do with anything involving violence or property destruction, and this group that did the vandalism had so much time it's embarrassing. I think SPD being embarrassed that day has everything to do with what I consider a witch hunt.
Solidarity amongst injustice!
#55, there's no witch hunt. It's a police investigation, and there are a few idiots who seem to think they are above it all. By the way, the police didn't break the windows. Your friends did. If you're looking for someone to whine about, find the nearest mirror.
jurisdictions folks- SPD=metro Seattle; 9th circuit = from Guam to Idaho, Border to Border, get it? These people are from PDX, have almost nothing to do with MayDay in Seattle. If you went to the hearings you would have seen a lot of fresh faces, if you read the statement Leah made you'd notice her statement is more about her current mental health issues than a manifesto from a hardened blac bloc commando.
The SPD has botched their investigation of the MayDay events just like their ham handed approach to most other civil disturbances, the Jury resistance organization is almost as inept and scattered.… People who think that Obama is playing 12th dimensional chess are almost as stupid as people who think this Grand Jury is about solving a crime, or that this investigation fulfills some kind of 'social contract' by the government to make us all safer from vandalism.
@ 57 ~ I don't usually feed the trolls. Congratulations! You win a few words from me chosen just for you ~ I've never broken a window in my life, not even by accident. I hate property destruction and I think it's a lousy tactic. I don't associate with people who use lousy tactics. It sounds like my comment re: SPD struck a nerve and that means you're probably a cop. You peg me as a rock thrower I'll peg you as a cop. That's fair, doncha think?
Mister G, why are you such a liberal looney? It's "progressives" like you standing up for the rights of these silly kids that keep me so riled up all the time! I think you should be locked up for obstruction of justice!
What can you expect when you have 5 Nazis on the Supreme Court for close to 30 years, editing out our civil rights while creating rights for tyrants, corporate personhood and official immunity. Both in their own ways are acts of fraud, thus court lack subject matter jurisdiction to these affronts to the Constitution.
#59, if it makes you all warm 'n squishy to think I'm a cop, have at it.
Scooter Libby never spent a moment behind bars. He was immediately pardoned by Bush. Surprise! See Fair Game with Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.
While I agree that Justice must be blind, if you have evidence of a crime, you must reveal it regardless of the crime, the Judge has discretion and could let her out say, 40 days later. Federal Judges are treated like Gods, and sadly, they frequently act like them! As to Mr. Holder, he has been the WORST AG we have ever had. He is a corporate hack who refuses to go after BP's numerous violations. Granted, the AG's office, like other Federal agencies, is grossly understaffed and under budgeted. My problem with Hack Holder is in his allocation of his limited resources. He spends millions going after pot farmers who have relied on Obama's statements and opened legitimate businesses that comply with their state's laws, all the while murderers, corporate criminals on Wall Street, and foreign corporations like BP cause massive harm to U.S. citizens, their property, livelihoods, and our public lands and waters! Equity demands that this tin pot dictator of a Judge release this poor woman!
#64, I'm afraid these idiots who refuse to testify are going to learn just how powerful the feds can be.
SHAME !! The justice system in USA is DEAD...bury it and go defend the FEDS.
"No, actually it's like investigating crimes committed by the Mafia by questioning members of the Mafia."

lol are anarchist one giant network that all secretly share emails and conspire with each other? Dr. Noam Chomsky, MIT Linguistics professor, shares the same anarchist political beliefs, maybe they should question him instead about the acts of his apparent "friends?" If some drunkard Republican smashes a Wells Fargo window are they going to make some random Jane Doe also affiliated with the same party answer for it?
@27: The First Amendment prohibits laws that abridge the freedom of speech; coerced speech certainly is not free (it's coerced), so laws mandating testimony violate First amendment prohibitions (freedom of speech necessarily includes the freedom to NOT speak, in the same way that freedom of religion includes the freedom to NOT have religion; I realize that's not the established interpretation, mainly because the Supreme Court justices doing the interpreting are understandably biased toward promoting the power of the security state's socio-legal framework, especially at the federal level, which also explains the gross over-extension of the Commerce Clause with respect to drug laws, among other things). The Fifth Amendment is rather redundant, and likely included for emphasis and the sake of clarity, as without it, I'm sure some assholes would be making a "state interest" argument in favor of coercing self-incriminating testimony (he said, adopting a feigned demeanor of credulity, as though his hypothetical framing wasn't describing actual conditions).
#68, your heroes have been granted immunity from prosecution for their statements. Therefore, the issue of self-incrimination has been removed. They must testify, or they must sit in jail. No amount of your sophistry will change that.
For more information about Leah Lynn and how to do support (including low cost support) for all three uncharged prisoners please see…
#70, are you going to send them some vegan cookies?
Leah Plante was released, reasons unknown. We are promised information in a few days by the releasee.