Comments about ‘Jury seated, Tim DeChristopher trial resumes Tuesday’

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Published: Monday, Feb. 28 2011 9:00 a.m. MST

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2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Finally... the article on the DeChristopher supporters and their loony statements I've been waiting for this morning.

I just wanted to point out the hypocrisy of these people. They advocate selective obedience to the law... and feel the law often doesn't apply to THEM... or THEIR_CAUSE. But they aren't so understanding when people they don't agree with disregard the law to protest THEIR cause.

That's where the problem starts.

What if an abortion protester thinks HIS CAUSE is more important than the law... and decides his act of civil_disobedience will be to bomb a clinic?

What if an illegal immigration protester thinks HIS CAUSE is more important than the law and decides to setup a sniper-rifle on the border and pick off people crossing the border illegally? Or beat up somebody who represents the cause he opposes? Or burn down their house (because he thinks it's too big) or burn a lot full of cars (because they transport illegal aliens)... or even just decides to break the law and cause his opposition monetary damages?

Then it's not so OK.

Just be consistent....

Consistently support rule_of_law or consistently support anarchy.

Belching Cow
Sandy, UT

I guess it is ok to break the law as long as you do it to advance some leftist cause. Next thing you know they will be wanting to exterminate all belching cows. I'm afraid.

Somewhere in Time, UT

If he is the true believer he claims to be, he will be delighted to go to prison for his beliefs.

Pleasant Grove, UT

Sometimes idiocy really is a crime.

Somewhere in Utah, UT

The essence of civil disobedience is to break the law (and be willing to pay the price for doing so) for a higher good. Just look at the racial protests of the 1950s -- people were willing to be beaten, maimed and even killed to achieve racial equality and the defeat of racially discriminatory laws and practices.

DeCrhistopher's goals were good (there are already an abundance of oil and gas leases which have been purchased but are lying fallow -- develop them first or have them fail before putting any more leases up for bid), but I don't see that he had the courage or dedication to accept the price for his actions

Southwest Utah, UT

Wow, a Peter Yarrow sing-in at the Unitarian Church! That's impressive. But I think I'm more interested in whether DeChristopher broke the law or not.

yes and no
Escalante, utah

If you are going to break the law for what you consider a just cause, you need to be willing to face the consequences that accompany breaking that law. Does this guy deserve his day in court? of course he does. What really concerns me is the people that feel this guy has done nothing wrong. This is the mentality that says if a woman dresses sexy, she deserves to be raped. If a bank charges to high of an interest rate, they deserve to be robbed. This is the mentality that brought on the Salem witch hunts, the inquisition, and the terrorism that we are dealing with today. If I pulled a drill rig into the middle of Zions National Park and drilled a well, because I feel we need to do more drilling in the US, I wonder if these same people would come out to support me? Probably not, because only their cause justifies breaking the law.

Holladay, UT

I'm unclear how this case got to be such a big deal. There should have been a plea deal long ago. I don't know if the prosecutor is out to make a name for himself, or DeChristopher wants to be a martyr, but let's break the possibilities down this way:

A) The parcels offered for lease complied with all regulations, and the lease was proper. DeChristopher's bidding was illegal. The possible effects of that were

1) A delay in the leasing by 3 months until the next auction.
2) Somebody else tries to disrupt future auctions.

The delay would be minimal in the total timeline of producing oil. The second issue is easily addressed by having future bidders make a deposit before they can bid.

B) The parcels were being leased in violation of federal regulations. In this instance, DeChristopher's bidding was still illegal. But he actually saved the oil companies and the federal government substantial money. The lease agreements would have been completed, and then challenged in court and tied up for years.

Either way, the incident was minor, and should be dealt with accordingly.

Ogden, UT

2 bits,

Very very poor analogies. Did DeChristopher shoot anyone? Shoot at anyone? Bomb a building? Beat someone up? Burn down someone's house? Threaten anyone's physical safety?

The discussion of whether or not it is OK to violate the law in the magnitude and form that DeChristopher did in order to support a given moral view is a fine discussion to be having. But don't exaggerate it to make his actions seem equivalent to murder, terrorism, arson, or assault.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The protesters marching in the streets can say what they want... but they need to realize that the jury in court room will be advised by the judge to apply the law, and required to apply the law regardless of their individual biases for or against the defendant... regardless of what is going on outside.

The judge will not be able to advise the jury to disregard the law for this defendant. No matter how noble the people outside think he is.


Now sentencing... that is a different story.

The judge has more latitude in sentencing. But protesters should not expect him to be found "Innocent" (he's already said he intentionally broke the law... and is proud that he broke the law). So finding him "innocent" isn't a realistic expectation now.

But getting a light sentence... that is a realistic possibility.


Protesters need to have realistic_expectations regarding what they demand of the jury. The jury can't just declare him "innocent"... when he's confessed to intentionally breaking the law. Even if they agree with his cause.

As long as you have realistic_expectations... there's a CHANCE of satisfaction. If not... satisfaction isn't really possible.

Salt Lake City, UT

These clowns are able to protest because it's legal in this country to protest. How would they feel if the police or an angry mob broke the law by stopping them from protesting?

Cedar Hills, UT

Funny how these dupes come in and support DeCristopher, yet they probably drove their energy eating vehicles and came from their nice warm homes. Prices are going to necessarily skyrocket because of these near sited people. They will be screaming for energy and there will be less because of their politcal activism. I wonder how they feel about Van Jones and the rest?

Eagle Mountain, UT

Minimum 5 years in prison and I want him to pay back every cent he has cost the taxpayers with his publicity stunt. What a total waste of everyones time and resources.

Kaysville, UT

I agree
Tree Tim, Tree Tim

Miss Piggie
SLC, Utah

The guy should go to jail for ten years. And all his supporter friends should get rid of their gas burning vehicles and walk to work. If they don't want the state's natural resources developed they can show their sincerity by stopping their use of it. Otherwise shut up and go home.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Emajor | 11:22 a.m.

I included a right-wing-protester/zealot causing financial damages in my earlier list of hypothetical situations. You may have missed that because I included some more provocative examples as well.


You act as if the examples I gave were obsurd... and yet they are known to have happened (by Zealots on both sides).

Some Hints to help your memory...
-The Weather_Underground (a leftist organization) bombed buildings and killed people as part of their protests in the 60's.
-Remember SDS (a Socialist organization) and the protest they organized in Chicago called "The_Days_of_Rage"??? Their own slogan was "Bring the war home"... and they did... resulting in extensive property_damage and injuries and many Weatherman and SDS leaders being arrested_and_Jailed?
-Remember Timothy McVeigh?
-Remember the Abortion Clinic bombings?
-Remember the ALF house burnings
-The Animal Rights guy here in Utah who's on trial for burning businesses here in Utah?
-The ALF guy who burned all those cars in California?


Obviously the examples I gave are not hallucinations or made_up. They were based_on_real_incidents

When Zealots (on both sides) decide their cause is above the law... it's not a good thing.... McCristopher included.

SLC, Utah

@Emajor: "Did DeChristopher... threaten anyone's physical safety?"

He threatens Americans' ability to heat their homes and get to work in their vehicles. How does this guy expect people to get to and from work and to the grocery store? There's not enough horses or hay in the state to feed them to get to work on horseback.

What does Tim think we should use for energy?

Ogden, UT

2 bits,
Forgive me for overlooking your non-provocative examples from your first comment. And I really liked the comment you made at 11:29.

The examples you gave of zealotry are absolutely true. But they represent a very small fraction of people on either side. There really is a difference between nonviolent civil disobedience and violent retaliation. Many of you may hate his ideology, but DeChristopher falls into the former, not the latter. I consider myself an environmentalist. But I'm not going to break the law to express it. And I certainly wouldn't torch a car dealership or support ALF's wacko stunts. And I'm pretty sure neither would 99% of those at the DeChristopher rally. Just as 99% of those picketing an abortion clinic would never bomb the place or threaten the life of the doctors.

@ Neanderthal,
"He threatens Americans' ability to heat their homes and get to work in their vehicles"

Um, no he doesn't. I still gassed up my car and heated my house just fine when he tied those leases up. How much power do you think one idealistic college kid has?

Saint George, UT

I wonder how many of these dimwitted protesters are on some form of Government welfare, Students of a tax supported school or from out of state.

Castle Dale, UT

To be an imposter and a liar is a bad thing. And may get one put in the pokey. Give him a little time for his wrong-doing, put a figure on the amount of time and resources he wasted and make him pay pay that amount. And if he is anywhere close to being a MAN...he will say he is sorry.

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