Environment & Public Lands
Fri September 14, 2012
Tim DeChristopher Felony Conviction Upheld
A 10th circuit court of appeals today upheld the felony convictions of Utah climate change activist Tim DeChristopher who placed phony bids on oil and gas parcels near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in 2008. Last year, a federal judge in Salt Lake City sentenced DeChristopher to two years in prison. And this week in a two to one decision, the court of appeals upheld that decision. Defense Attorney Ron Yengich says he’s disappointed, but not surprised.
“The three-judge panel was more focused on some highly technical procedural issues and not on the substantive legal claims that we made," Yengich says.
The defense argued DeChristopher was not allowed to use the so called “necessity defense” in his 2011 trial. DeChristopher disrupted the controversial auction to protect public lands from drilling. Yengich says DeChristopher will likely appeal to the U.S. Supreme court.