Tuesday, May 31, 2005

US v. Wyatt

No. 04-30316 (5-26-05). Defendant protested logging in a national forest. He and a codefendant are members of Earth First! and staged a protest that involved staying in the trees designated for logging for several weeks. The defendant also strung yellow and blue polypropylene ropes between platforms and from trees. These represented a threat to helicopters because of the danger of the ropes becoming intertwined in the rotors. The defendant was charged and convicted of 18 USC 1864(a) which makes an offense of using hazardous or injurious devices to interfere with harvesting timber. defendant mounted an attack on the offense for vagueness (what was dangerous about ropes). The 9th found though that the defendants had enough rope to legally hang themselves because the language of the statute applies to ropes, the defendants could guess it, and indeed intended it. There statute gives fair warning.


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