A rare judicial victory was achieved in February as forest defense activist Jefrey “Free” Luers’ 23-year prison sentence for eco-sabotage was overturned by the Oregon Court of Appeals.
In 2001, then 23 year-old Jeff and his codefendant, Craig “Critter” Marshall, were convicted for torching three SUVs at a Eugene, Oregon car dealership. Their stated purpose was to raise awareness about global warming and the role SUVs play in that process.
Despite the fact that no one was hurt in the action, and caused only $40,000 in damages to vehicles that were later resold, Jeff was sent to prison for a sentence considerably longer than those convicted of murder, kidnapping and rape in Oregon. Jeff is a political prisoner and continues to write and agitate for his release while imprisoned at Oregon State Penitentiary. His appeal was filed in January 2002 and oral arguments before the Oregon Court of Appeals weren’t heard until November 2005, so justice for Jeff has been a long time coming.
In February of this year, the Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that Jeff’s case was reversed and remanded back to the Circuit Court for re-sentencing as a result of the trial judge’s errors in imposing the original draconian sentence. According to attorneys that have reviewed the court decision, it looks like Jeff could potentially get about 15 years taken off his 266 month sentence, which may amount to time served and his release.
Donations Desperately Needed
Jeff has garnered support from all over the world and we never imagined this could have happened back when Jeff was first arrested almost seven years ago. We are still digesting the positive news regarding Jeff’s appeal and we want everyone to know how grateful we are to all of you who have supported Jeff over the years in whatever way you could.
In the coming months we will find out more about Jeff’s re-sentencing–the court date and possible outcome, etc.–and in the meantime we need your support more than ever. Jeff needs money. His legal costs and attorney fees, on top of on-going daily expenses, can’t be covered with our current bank account and financial support.
If you have a few extra dollars, help Jeff through these coming months. We’ve made it pretty easy to donate through a variety of methods. Go to www.freefreenow.org/donate.html for options ranging from PayPal, to sending a check to his support team, a tax-deductible method, or a money order directly to Jeff’s commissary account in prison (this last option will not help pay legal costs).
With your help we can be sure he gets the best legal representation possible for his re-sentencing. More info: