FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2010
Contact: Jude Ortiz, Scott and Carrie Support Committee (SCSC)
Imprisoned Grand Jury Resister Carrie Feldman Released without Testifying
Unexpected Release Indicates Unnecessary Incarceration while Scott DeMuth Still Faces Charges
Dubuque, IA — Yesterday, grand jury resister Carrie Feldman was released from custody in Dubuque County Jail after the federal government filed a motion saying her testimony was no longer required in the investigation of an Animal Liberation Front (ALF) raid at the University of Iowa in 2004.
Her sudden release without testifying before the grand jury seems to confirm supporters’ belief that her incarceration was an unnecessary and vindictive act by the prosecutor to punish her for her political beliefs and willingness to resist state repression.
Feldman was released after spending four months in jail on civil contempt for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury in Davenport, Iowa on November 17, 2009. Her lawyers had been fighting for her release since she was taken into custody. Cliff Cronk, the federal prosecutor, filed secret evidence to argue for her continued incarceration as being necessary for the ongoing investigation into the ALF raid, in which hundreds of animals were liberated and computer equipment and laboratory records were destroyed.
“Cronk has consistently proven his willingness to use his power to punish people simply because he does not like their political beliefs,” said Lisa Williams, speaking on behalf of the Scott and Carrie Support Committee. “Carrie’s sudden release, unprompted by legal action on her behalf or by testimony from her, shows how capricious the prosecutor’s actions are and
how unnecessary her incarceration was. Cronk knew all along that there was no reason to hold her, but he did so anyway exactly because Carrie dared to stand up to the abuse he was perpetrating.”
Feldman was incarcerated along with Scott DeMuth, who was charged with conspiracy under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) two days after being taken into custody. DeMuth was subsequently released and is awaiting trial, currently scheduled for May 3. Further showing the willingness to abuse the justice system, seeing that original indictment of DeMuth was
unconstitutionally vague, Cronk responded to a motion to dismiss the charges against DeMuth by re-indicting him with a barely modified indictment, thus buying more time to pursue a politically-motivated prosecution devoid of legal merit. The new indictment also appears to be fatally flawed, as it still fails to provide any indication as to what DeMuth is alleged to have done to conspire under the AETA.
Feldman’s release comes three days after an FBI raid on a well-known activist house in Salt Lake City, Utah. Federal agents seized computers and many boxes of documents, files, notebooks, and address books. The warrant for the house raid, which clearly indicates it is in relation to an investigation of “animal enterprise terrorism” was signed by Chief Magistrate Judge Thomas J. Shields of the United States District Court Southern District of Iowa.
Court documents from both Feldman’s and DeMuth’s cases are available at: