I know it seems like forever ago that Jordan Halliday was first called to a
Grand Jury which he resisted. In a way it was forever ago, he was first
approached by the FBI in 2008 regarding local mink farm raids in Utah. He
refused to cooperate with the FBI and was told he would face a subpoena to
testify in front of a grand jury. Six months later the FBI followed
through, Subpoenaing both Jordan and another ‘activist’ who chose to
testify. Jordan however chose to resist the grand jury in protest due to
its abusive and archaic nature.
Grand juries are called when the government lacks evidence to indict an
individual for a crime. Witnesses are subpoenaed to testify before the
grand jury in hopes of providing evidence to the prosecution. Little is
known about these secretive proceedings, because all information is
considered sealed and classified. A witness that is called before a grand
jury is not allowed to have a lawyer present with them in the grand jury
In recent years activists have seen an increase in subpoenas to grand
juries. These subpoenas are often used to harass and intimidate legal
above-ground activists, like Jordan feels is the case, in his situation.
The prosecutor can ask any question and if you refuse to answer or if you
lie, you could be held in contempt of court or perjury. With no lawyer
present for the witnesses, prosecutors can often ask for information not
relevant to a crime in hopes to harass, intimidate or ‘fish’ for
information, in a secretive manner which many consider a modern day witch
hunt. Jordan said he was mainly asked information about his friends,
family, and general life and refused to answer any of them.
Jordan refused to answer any of the questions he was asked, the 3 times he
was subpoenaed. He was incarcerated after his second appearance for “civil
contempt of court”. He eventually was granted immunity. Yet still refused
to cooperate and stayed in jail until the term of the grand jury expired 4
months later. Upon release he was indicted with “criminal contempt of
court”, and was released on pre-trial pending trial, eventually he took a
non-cooperating plea deal, and was sentenced to 10 months plus 3 years
probation under the guidelines low-end range for “obstruction of justice”,
which has a 10-16 months recommended range. He was ordered to report to the
federal custody early January, 2011. Although he was able to stay out on a
release pending his appeal, just days before he was due to present himself.
Jordan and his lawyer filed an appeal arguing that a guideline range for
“failure to appear” which has a 0-6 month recommended range, was more
fitting for Jordan, who still to this day claims he has no knowledge of any
illegal underground activity or actions. In fact the individuals Jordan was
allegedly called in to testify against, have both already been indicted,
convicted, sentenced and have served their time already, without the help
of a testimony by Jordan.
On November 15th, 2011, Jordan’s attorney argued their final arguments
before the court of appeals in Denver, Colorado. Jordan says he felt a bias
and hostility from the beginning and although his lawyer did an excellent
job, felt the judges already had their minds made up. Jordan’s lawyer also
said he wasn’t very optimistic about the outcome. It typically takes 3-6
months before a ruling comes back.
Although we remain optimistic that Jordan might still win his appeal and
get the low-end sentence of 0 months, we are also confronting the reality
that he is more likely going back, than staying out. With the possibility
of prison coming soon for Jordan. We have decided to start accepting
donations again. Currently he is now only around $350 in legal debt,
although we will continue collecting donations in case of incarceration. If
Jordan wins his appeal and doesn’t end of having to serve any additional
time, we will be distributing the remaining donations to other political
prisoners and activists in need.
You can donate by PayPal by visiting “supportjordan.com”, or you can send a
donation or letter of support to:
PO BOX 601
West Jordan, Utah 84084
This is an important case for the future of all activists, radicals and
dissidents. If his appeal is not heard, he will be going back to prison for
an additional 10 months, this is on top of the 4 he already served. With a
total of 14 months and 3 years probation, he will be serving more time than
the individuals he was called to testify against, who were convicted under
the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. Jordan is also the first dissident in
decades and only the 3rd known case to be convicted of “criminal contempt
of court” after already serving time for “civil contempt of court”.
Jordan needs our support now more than ever. Let him know he hasn’t been
forgotten in this long period of legal battles.
We are all proud of Jordan. Please re-post this to as many places as you
can. He needs our support.
-Jordan’s Support Committee
-Animal Defense League of Salt Lake City