Tim DeChristopher, who has been jailed for the past 18 months at Herlong Federal Prison in California for disrupting federal oil and gas exploration auctions, will be released prison on October 24th. That’s good news to a lot of people’s ears. He’ll spend the rest of his two year term (six months if my math is correct) at a Salt Lake City halfway house, employed at a Unitarian Church under a work-release program. Peaceful Uprising, the activisit group that Dechristopher founded, has this to say about the whole situation:
Obviously his friends, his family, his community is excited to have him back here in a halfway home, but we are going to respect whatever time he needs. We will honor that he is still serving time until April 2013.
For those of you who don’t know who DeChristopher is and why he matters, well, I’ll give you the short of it. In 2008 DeChristopher, a climate control activist, entered a federal oil and gas exploration lease auction. The BLM was selling 116 parcels of land in Utah red-rock country and DeChristopher bid on 14 of them (22,500 acres) for 1.8 million. He won, and at the time, had no money to pay, so the feds picked him up for misrepresenting himself. Months later, the Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, deemed the auction illegal. In addition to the auction being deemed illegal, DeChristopher had raised the funds for the land and the BLM refused to accept the money. The Jury wasn’t allowed to know either of those little fun facts during the trail and he was found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison.
Be happy about this one. It’ll be a good thing when he’s done with church work.