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Jordan was found guilty of "Targeted Residential Picketing" on December 1st, 2009.
He won the "Wearing a mask with the intent to commit a crime" charge when it was dropped after the Jury couldn't make a unanimous decision.
On Monday June 28th, 2010, the prosecution amended the charge to an infraction.
These charges arose from a 2008 demonstration in a vivisectors neighborhood.
These charges are not related to the Grand Jury.
He is currently appealing this verdict to the 9th Circuit Court.
On Friday, March 13th, 2009, then 21-year old Jordan Halliday was taken into federal custody for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury investigating the animal rights community of Utah. He was held for nearly four months.
On June 29th, 2009 Jordan was federally indicted with sui generis "criminal contempt of court" and released on pretrial. Jordan plead guilty to "criminal contempt of court" on July 27th, 2010.
On November 3rd, 2010 he was sentenced to 10 months in prison and 3 years of probation upon release.
Both Jordan and his lawyer believe that this sentence is too harsh, as he has already served time.
They are in the process of filing an appeal.
Jordan was originally scheduled to surrender himself to a Federal Prison on January 3rd, 2011, but was amazingly granted a motion to stay out until his appeal is heard just days before he was scheduled to surrender himself.
Dear Friends, 06.13.2012
I've received many letters lately asking about the second activist that was subpoenaed to the grand jury along with myself. Although this is very old news to me. I feel I should address this question and help clarify.
Nicole "Nikki" Standford (Viehl) and myself were both subpoenaed to testify in front of a federal grand jury allegedly investigating illegal animal rights activities in Utah. I chose not to co-operate with the grand jury on the grounds that I was unjustly subpoenaed simply because I was a very outspoken above-ground activist and that I disagreed with the grand jury process in general as its an archaic system that allows prosecutors to overstep their bounds and abuse their power. I also had no information to give, as I am and always have been a legal above-ground activist. For my choices I was immediately put in a county jail under civil contempt of court until the term of the grand jury expired. Upon release to everyone's surprise I was charged with criminal contempt of court in which I later received a 10 month federal prison sentence that I am now currently carrying out at this time. This is the 3rd time in United States History that the government decided to indict someone for criminal contempt of court after already serving time civilly for the same act of recalcitrance.
Fortunately for Nikki Sanford-Viehl (ex-wife of BJ Viehl), she avoided doing any prison time, unfortunately it was at the expense of the local animal rights community, by providing the government with information about them. When Nikki and myself met with other local activists to discuss the grand jury subpoenas we decided to write a public statement to release to the media explaining why we disagree with the grand jury & why we were not going to cooperate. The night before we were to release the statement to the press Nikki called and politely asked to have her name taken off and to not be mentioned in the demonstration outside. Obviously we respected her wishes and made a gender neutral rendition to the press release to state that "Jordan Halliday and 'another activist' were subpoenaed". When we finally went in front of the grand jury, she and I sat in a waiting room next to our lawyers whom were not allowed to be in the actual proceedings.
She went in first and took about 15-20 mins until she came out. When she left she avoided eye contact with me, while her lawyer and the prosecutor shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. I am only mentioning all this to show a pattern. When I went into the grand jury room the first time it took 30-45 mins, much of which was spent with me asking to speak with my lawyer and also the prosecutor storming out demanding my lawyer to talk some sense into me. When Nikki exited the court house she was spotted by another activist who was out demonstrating.When that activist shouted her name, she took off running. the activist ran after her and after finally catching up to her, asked her how it went, to which she replied that she "didn't want to talk about it". Since there was no judge available for a hearing when I refused to testify at the grand jury, I was released and re-subpoenaed a week later. I approached Nikki after a local animal rights meeting to ask her why she didn't recieve a second subpoena and to explain what happened at the grand jury. She admitted to me that she named names and vehicles. But reiterated that she "didn't tell them anything that they didn't already know".I was arrested says later for my refusal and put in a county Jail, while there I received a letter from Nikki that stated she was feeling guilty about what she said at the grand jury and that she was also guilty that she wasn't in jail with me. I feel her broken bound of solidarity was possibly somewhat responsible for the governments decision to charge me criminally after I already served civil time.
When I was released I brought up these facts with members of the local animal rights community and although most agreed that they didn't trust her, there were emotional attachments and many didn't feel comfortable "calling out" a then current political prisoners partner. This is something that needs to be worked on and addressed in all radical communities. Support should and wouldn't suffer in these cases for the jailed activist. However, the partner shouldn't be accepted or allowed to participate in the community. Activists who continue to allow involvement and who justify and sympathize simply because the partner is in prison are still snitch sympathizers. Confrontation is never fun, so we should talk with other members of our radical communities to figure out how out communities would handle a situation currently, address different tactics, and as silly as it sounds even role play different scenarios. Security culture is one of the most important tools we can use to protect ourselves. So let's practice and use it.
For total liberation and until all are free,
As most of you know by now, I am officially behind bars serving out my additional 10 month sentence for my refusal to testify before a grand jury that was set up to harass and intimidate the local animal rights movement of Salt Lake City, Utah. I’ll go into more detail about grand juries in a second. It was a huge surprise when the dozen or so United States Marshals showed up to storm my parent’s house to arrest me. An hour before visiting my house, they showed up at my work, harassing my friend to the point of tears. I was expecting a visit from my girlfriend just days away on the 14th of January. I feel this was a blatant move by the government to shatter my spirits. But as David Barbarash once wrote while behind bars, “They have my physical body for this relatively short period of time. They will never have my spirit, or my mind, or my will. And that’s where the real power lies.” Unfortunately, the same doesn’t hold true for the billions of animals who are imprisoned, sitting on death row, living in horrible conditions, waiting to die for their skins, meat or simply because they are of no use anymore. So, while I sit here reading and writing letters, I’ll have the real prisoners on my mind, the ones who are awaiting their death sentence, just because they were born a certain species. Let none of us forget the “true prisoners” in the war.
Now back to grand juries, I won’t go into much detail about my case, as I have already written about it in the past and you can view it on my support page. But, basically I was called to testify in front of a grand jury because I helped re-start the Salt Lake City chapter of the Animal Defense League. We had been looking into ways to legally get local fur farms to close their doors for good. We looked into possible stricter legislation for fur farms in regards to what the state considered “livestock.” As of current, mink and other fur bearing species used for clothing are NOT considered “livestock” and therefore are NOT required to be tended to at least once every 24 hours, as is the case with “livestock.” We were working to pass legislation to reclassify fur bearing species as “livestock” and also looking into stricter pollution and contamination laws for fur farms.
While doing this Utah was hit with a series of fur farm liberations. Days after the first mink farm raid, my father was visited by the FBI. They asked him questions pertaining to breeding cards and my activity. He unfortunately informed them I no longer lived there and the next day I was visited at my work. I told them to leave, they threatened me with a grand jury subpoena and 6 months later followed through with that threat, subpoenaing me and another person. Being well read on the use of grand juries to intimidate local above ground grass roots activists, I was shocked to see a lack of understanding and the urge to have me comply from the local community, so that support for any suspects if caught wouldn’t be affected. This was severely disheartening and one of my many reasons I chose to disassociate myself from many people in the community.
So here is my message to you: It doesn’t matter that I didn’t know anything about ANY underground animal rights activities, or any illegal activities for that matter. Modern day grand juries are used to harass, terrorize and to intimidate. That’s it, plain and simple, don’t buy into the governments lies that they are investigating crimes. The truth is, if they had any information, they wouldn’t be coming after above ground activists like myself. It’s a witch hunt, all political and social movements should maintain a strong stance of non-cooperation when faced with a grand jury subpoena. The more we resist, the less likely they will subpoena future activists. In my case, my testimony wasn’t even needed (not that I had anything to offer anyway) they were still able to indict 2 activists for their roles in the 2008 mink farm raid. They were also able to successfully cripple the local, and let me remind you, LEGAL organization ADLSLC.
As Eli Rosenblatt once wrote, “With the grand jury the state built into it’s laws a mechanism to cover up it’s true motivations of quashing dissent and threats to oppressive institutions by claiming some great threat to public safety or national security from terrorist activity, the state can imprison anyone who refuses to talk, anyone who doesn’t provide information to the government about themselves or others. The justice department and intelligence agencies have thus targeted, disrupted and caged numerous people in recent decades, simple for their opposition to US government policies.” Although written nearly 2 decades ago it still holds true.
While I will always remain a legal activist, it’s no wonder we are seeing a huge jump in underground animal rights actions. When current activists see a case like mine, where I’m serving over 14 months for nothing, it’s obvious why they would slip into the underground where they are effective and the chances of getting caught are less likely, because they aren’t publicly showing their faces at protests.
To summarize, we need to educate and publicize the repressive and illegal use of grand juries and we need to know our rights in general and inform others. I urge, urge, urge you to PLEASE read up on grand juries and inform others so when, not if, a grand jury subpoena presents itself to you or your community, you’ll be prepared... and you’ll RESIST! RESIST! RESIST!
Though they did get one thing right, I do have contempt for the grand jury system.
P.S. Please write, I would love to hear from you. Letters are like oxygen to prisoners, They help us know people are out there and they care. Please check the support page often as I will be heading to a new location shortly. Thanks again for all the support. I can’t wait to build many more friendships. Even if you don’t know what to say a postcard that says “SUP?” is enough to let me know someone is out there.