DeChristopher will be proven innocent by peers

I appreciated both Matt Plummer’s recent column (“DeChristopher’s “necessary evil’ still a crime,” Nov. 2) and attached editorial cartoon by Willus Branham. I hope they caught your readership’s attention. But, as with most things, “the devil is in the details.”

The headline, which I appreciate was written by someone other than Plummer or Branham, is misleading. No one has argued that what Tim did could be considered a crime. However, the beauty of our federal system is the function of the jury. That is, a jury of your peers, if you request a jury trial, decides your fate. Not just a judge, not the prosecutor, not the oil/gas lobby, but your peers. What we have argued on Tim’s behalf is that a jury under our system of due process is entitled, indeed obligated, to determine whether what Tim did was justified in light of the scientific fact of climate change and the threat that our continued dependence on fossil fuel and the resulting CO2 represents to Tim personally and his generation.

The character drawings in the cartoon certainly represent key figures in nonviolent social change. Tim’s actions represent the best of nonviolent social activism demanding necessary change without harming any person or property. Tim has never been worried about being accepted into any group, regardless of how distinguished they are. His motivating concern is how can he preserve the environment which he, you and all others are dependent upon. My own take on the cartoon is that the individuals represented there8212;Ghandi, Thoreau, Martin Luther King (and even Branham)8212;would be applauding Tim and welcoming him into the chamber of those individuals who have made the world a better place.

I hope your readers will follow Tim and join in his support.

Patrick A. Shea,
Co-counsel for the defense of Tim DeChristopher