Grand Jury Resister Jordan Halliday Sentenced to 10 months


Jordan Halliday
Jordan Halliday

November 3, 2010

Salt Lake City, Utah --- This morning United States District Judge Ted Stewart sentenced Jordan Halliday to 10 months in federal prison and 3 years probation.

In 2008 Halliday, an animal rights activist in Salt Lake City, was subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury investigating the animal rights community of Utah. When Halliday resisted, he was held in civil contempt of court for nearly 4 months. Upon release he was indicted for criminal contempt of court for the same refusal. This past July Halliday admitted to willfully & knowingly violating an order by US District Chief Judge Tena Campbell.

After Halliday's guilty plea, the Prosecutor applied the sentencing guidelines for another charge, "obstruction of justice," and an enhancement for “substantial interference with the function of the judicial system” which consequently increased the advisory Sentencing Guideline range for Halliday's charge to 15-21 months. The court declared that the “obstruction of justice” guideline was with warrant, however believed the enhancement for “substantial interference with the function of the judicial system” was not justified. Halliday's Attorney Kent Hart stated that a guideline range for “failure to appear” was more applicable to this case. However his argument was struck down.

Currently Halliday's sentence of 10 months amounts to nearly half of each sentence ultimately given to Alex Hall and William 'BJ' Viehl, against whom Halliday was brought to testify.

Assistant United States District Attorney John Huber maintains the claim that he believes Halliday still has insider information regarding unsolved Animal Liberation Front crimes in Utah. Halliday has maintained the claim that he has no knowledge of any illegal activity, and in a statement to the court said “I have always tried to work within the law by lobbying and attempting to pass legislation for the basic rights I believe all animals deserve.”.

The prosecution however states that a communique concerning a mink release in Utah was sent to a news organization from an individual who listed their name as “Jordan”. The government states that this communique was received before police even knew of the incident. Halliday affirmed that he never sent a communique and that if one exists, that he now understands why the government might be going after him. He also stated that “If such a communique was legitimately sent, I am truly disheartened”.

After 4 months in jail, over a year of excessive pretrial conditions and a lot of living in legal limbo, Halliday will begin his 10-month sentence in January 2011, which he has the option to appeal in the interim.

To learn more about Halliday's case peruse

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