Jordan Halliday Pleads Guilty to Contempt

Utah animal rights activist Jordan Halliday pleaded guilty Tuesday, July 27, 2010 to criminal contempt of court for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury allegedly investigating the animal rights community of Utah.

In court Tuesday, before the US District Judge Ted Stewart, Halliday admitted that he willfully & knowingly violated an order by US District Judge Tena Campbell.

The Prosecution claims that Halliday refused to take oath and responded with "no comment" to essentially every question asked, even to harmless questions such as where he lived.

Outside court, supporters of Halliday loudly expressed their support for Jordan as well as their concerns with Grand Juries. Holding signs stating "Resist Grand Juries" and "Support Jordan Halliday".

Halliday was subpoenaed in March 2009 to testify before a federal grand jury. When he resisted he was held in civil contempt of court for nearly four months. When he was released he was indicted with criminal contempt of court for the same act of recalcitrance.

Criminal contempt of court is rare in the sense it is neither a felony nor a misdemeanor but rather considered sui generis by the court. Literally meaning in latin: "of it's own kind". This being the case it carries no maximum punishment and it is entirely up to the Judge to decide the sentence.

Halliday is currently out on pretrial awaiting sentencing on October 19, 2010.

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