Jury seated, Tim DeChristopher trial resumes Tuesday

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  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 3, 2011 6:24 a.m.

    Re: Bill | 1:28 p.m. March 1, 2011

    DeChristopher is no patriot. If convicted he will just be another felon who may be surprised to find out there is no parole in the federal prison system.

    DeChristopher's defense is that he didn't know what he was doing was wrong .... and I doubt the jury is going to buy it.

  • Bill Vernal, UT
    March 1, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    I read what I thought was an interesting quote in one of the many blogs this morning.

    In the beginning of a change, the Patriot is a scarce man, brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds however, the timid join him. For then it costs nothing to be a patriot.

    -Mark Twain

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 1, 2011 12:58 p.m.

    Why is everybody giving Daryl Hannah such a hard time? So she flew in to protest the oil leases on a JET (that burned thousands of pounds of fossil fuel and put thousands of pounds of C02 into the atmosphere)... WHO CARES!!!

    She IS a true believer.

    She said in an interview a few years ago that she believes in conservation of resources so much... she even re-uses her toilet paper (EEEW!)

    But that's dedication. If she believes it THAT much... I gotta give it to her. She's a true believer.

    I wonder if any of the rest of these protesters re-use their toilet paper... or are they just posers???

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 1, 2011 8:51 a.m.

    You said;
    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?

    If society fails to make an example of this "idealist", we are encouraging many others to do the same types of things. People like this tend to go "one more step" beyond what the previous person did. That WILL eventually lead to adverse affects for society as a whole. As I stated before. Put him in prison under the maximum punishment for fraud and make him pay back every cent of tax money that was / has been used on him.

  • Eliot Santaquin, UT
    March 1, 2011 8:46 a.m.

    I am looking carefully at the photos accompanying the story. I see one gentleman carrying a sign that says "Prosecute Obama not DeCristopher". Is it possible we can find some common ground with these people? Then I am seeing signs with a closed fist that say Joy and Resolve. What's up with a closed fist--are we dealing with communists/socialists here? Next I read that the actress will be reporting back to CNN on the trial and I remembered why so many people tune in to the network for objective reporting on the events of the day. Finally, thank you so much for the chuckle this morning. I laughed outloud when I read the admonition from a poster here to brush up on "comprehensive reading skills". What would those be? Do you mean reading comprehension skills? Ha Ha Ha. That's funny.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    March 1, 2011 8:45 a.m.

    The question isn't whether or not he broke the law, he clearly and knowingly did, in interviews with DeChrostopher he stated that he knew he could go to jail and was willing to pay the price for his actions. The real question is whether or not his civil disobedience was the right thing to do.

    Rosa parks knew that by not giving up her seat to a white man she was breaking the law, but sometimes it is our job as Americans to stand up to our government and fight injustices.

    One thing that people forget is that our country was founded by law breakers, and even though they might not approve of DeChristopher's cause they would applaud his patriotism.

    True patriots are willing to make sacrifices to protect their country.

  • RobertValentine American Fork, UT
    March 1, 2011 8:08 a.m.

    Arguments against the development of Utahs minerals are inane. The trial of a lying conman is a side issue. May he be sentenced to pick up beer cans in our national parks. The real conflict is the heavy-handed control of Utahs natural resources by an oppressive federal government. Elitist environmentalists dont care about people desperate for jobs in Utah. The aging hippies chanting time-warped protest songs at the federal courthouse dont have show up for work every day. To the enemies of job creation and economic growth: Give us back the resources of our state. Give us freedom to drill for oil and gas and to mine for coal responsibly. The deadline has passed for the descendents of Johnsons army to get out of Utah for good. Bob Valentine, Highland, UT

  • other Salt Lake City, UT
    March 1, 2011 7:23 a.m.

    The civil disobedience practiced by DeChristopher does not begin to compare to bombing a clinic. That is an absurd comparison. DeChristopher's action was non-violent and he stood up to take the consequences. HE is a soft-spoken, effective advocate of peace.

    In contrast, the government's prosecution is political. There have been others who have intentionally bid on oil leases in the past without following up and paying for the leases in order to keep competitors from winning the bids. But they were not charged or prosecuted. In addition. there wewre many ATV riders, including a member of the state legislature, who knowingly rode illegally intgo Paria Canyon a couple years ago- none were charged or prosecuted- and I doubt they were willing to stand for there beliefs and peacefully accept arrest and prison. DeChristopher, in contrast, is a real man.

    DeChristopher did not go into the bidding room planning to bid, but did so after he was asked at the door whether he was a bidder. They should have prescreened all bidders and required preregistration- and probably would have if they weren't in such a hurry to get the leases out before Bush left Washington.

  • OnlyInUtah Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 1, 2011 6:32 a.m.

    DeChristopher broke the law.. he is a criminal. His supporters therefore support criminal activity. It is obvious their views are skewed and out of sync with the general public.

    Criminal behavior deserves a just reward. I, for one, hopes it is sufficient to stop future criminal activities by these leftist activists.

  • Jaygirl Vernal, Utah
    Feb. 28, 2011 10:05 p.m.

    Maybe someone can send DeChristopher some postcards of the non-National Monument-quality lands he broke the law to protect. Some land God gave us for it's beauty and some He gave for us to USE!

  • dave31 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 8:32 p.m.

    I hope Tim and his compatriots enjoy paying $4.00 per gallon for gasoline until we can begin tapping our own oil once more. Their arguments that all the leases have not, yet, been fully developed are specious. In the final analysis, it is only logical to drill for oil in fields where oil is known to exist.

  • Hotrod Sandy, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 7:44 p.m.

    The greater good = progressive. Progressive = less freedoms. Less freedoms = tyranny

  • Timj South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 7:07 p.m.

    Wow, the DN people are asleep at the wheel here. I thought you guys were supposed to screen comments where people acted like 14-year-olds and called each other names...

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 5:42 p.m.

    You know why they want to drill on those parcels of land? because that is where the oil is. It is not in downtown Salt Lake City or even on my farm. You can't find it where it is not.
    I wish there were not so many hypocrites!
    Not one of those protestors were naked and I bet not one of them live in a cave. Nor do they eat just wild grass.
    I am sure they drove to the protest in a car and or flew in a plane.
    If I profess to believe a certain way, I do all I can to live that way.
    They all look like the rest of us so the don't practice what they preach.
    If you really believe it live it.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 5:33 p.m.


    Nowhere did I say that DeChristopher didn't break the law. I said he didn't use violence and therefore should not be lumped in with those that do. Brush up on your comprehensive reading skills.

    Civil disobedience does not include violence, so your example of punching him in the nose isn't civil disobedience. It's assault.

    You going to be nice and talk like an adult now? Or have you got more childish names to call me. This is my fourth post, so have at it.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 5:31 p.m.

    There's no question this guy (with help from his lemmings, of course) will have to pay a lot of money to the State of Utah for not only the lost payments we never received on account of his bidding stunt, but also for the wages of employees who had to invest their time into dealing with this case. If the Timmy & Lemming club pays, let him stay out of prison. If they don't pay, then let him hang with the other dull tools in prison.

  • sciencepete Provo, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 5:26 p.m.

    It's a shame that in order to prove a point, he chose to break the law. There are PLENTY of other great ways to try and help the environmental cause, but breaking the law is never the most productive (though it may be flashy and garner the most attention by the media). However, he probably doesn't deserve 10 years in prison for what he did. Some kind of punishment, yes, but there are much worse crimes committed that get less of a sentence than that.

  • rok San Diego, CA
    Feb. 28, 2011 5:11 p.m.

    They should have required a down payment in order to bid.

  • fair ground Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 28, 2011 4:48 p.m.

    People need to see what he was doing BEFORE that fateful day in December of 2008..NOTHING..he has done nothing since except write grants, pose for pictures with "celebrities" and hold fund raisers to promote his being a victim.
    What a phony. He did nothing for the environment before and will do nothing after unless it greases his pockets. (He is praying that he goes to prison so he can publish all of the letters he has already been writing showing what a martyr he is.
    All of the people now in lock step behind his dog and pony show are the same as those who ran behind Forrest Gump: no idea why, but there must be a good reason.
    Also none of them knew him before his being charged. It is no coincidence that Redford, SUWA, Utah Wilderness and every other environmental group in the state has not supported his game.

  • Belching Cow Sandy, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 4:40 p.m.

    @LDS Mom
    "Has any reporter asked MS. Hannah how she arrived in Utah? Did she flap her arms and fly herself into the SLC airport or did she fly in on a jet?"

    I'm not sure but as much as she hates fossil fuels I'm quite certain she must have rode a horse or walked. Maybe the out of state protesters got together and formed a wagon train to come here.

    "When gas reachs $5.00 a gallon it wont be the rich who will suffer.... "

    However I'm sure it will be the rich who are blamed.

  • kerplunk alpine, utah
    Feb. 28, 2011 4:27 p.m.

    Daryl Hannah, huh? I wondered whose "collagened" lips those were

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 4:24 p.m.

    E major, you are a first class dork. I could commit civil disobedience on DeChristopher by punching him in the nose. No one would get hurt, but I'd still go to jail.

    He committed fraud. Last time I checked, fraud is still against the law. He did hurt me because I have some stock in some of those dastardly oil companies bidding on those leases. My stock took a loss which hurt me financially. So his fraud did hurt someone. By the way, I'm not rich, I'm one of those lower middle class folks that the airheads like Darryl Hanna claim to be trying to help with their gross stupidity. My retirement fund counts on profits of these companies.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 4:01 p.m.

    Here's the main thing that drives me totally nuts about all this.

    The First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake is the group who spearheaded most these protests. This is the same church which, lead my Rev. Tom Goldsmith, has in the past repeatedly blasted the LDS Church for getting involved in political matters such as same-sex marriage. Yet whenever there's a left-wing political protest of any kind (anti-war, anti-death penalty, Obamacare) the Unitarians are right there, usually the ones planning the whole thing.

    I don't hold any personal malice towards Rev. Goldsmith or his church members, but it seems to me there is a blatant dishonesty coming from many liberal church congregations. They publicly attack conservative churches for violating our nation's separation of church and state, while at the same time engaging in the very behavior they're condemning in others.

  • jmstoker Colorado Springs, CO
    Feb. 28, 2011 3:30 p.m.

    When gas reachs $5.00 a gallon it wont be the rich who will suffer....

  • LDS Mom American Fork, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 3:16 p.m.

    Has any reporter asked MS. Hannah how she arrived in Utah? Did she flap her arms and fly herself into the SLC airport or did she fly in on a jet? One that uses FUEL. What about the other protesters. Did they drive gas powered cars to arrive in down town Salt Lake?
    The leases were legal, Mr. DeChristophers actions were not. End of story.

  • migbard Castle Dale, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 2:41 p.m.

    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.

  • Richie Saint George, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 2:22 p.m.

    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.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 2:12 p.m.

    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?

  • Neanderthal SLC, Utah
    Feb. 28, 2011 1:25 p.m.

    @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?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 1:21 p.m.

    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.

  • Miss Piggie SLC, Utah
    Feb. 28, 2011 1:12 p.m.

    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.

  • tom_e Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 12:41 p.m.

    I agree
    Tree Tim, Tree Tim

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 11:53 a.m.

    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.

  • KM Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 11:51 a.m.

    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?

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    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?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 11:29 a.m.

    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.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 11:22 a.m.

    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.

  • stochra Holladay, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 11:15 a.m.

    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.

  • yes and no Escalante, utah
    Feb. 28, 2011 11:14 a.m.

    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.

  • codger Southwest Utah, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 11:11 a.m.

    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.

  • Furry1993 Somewhere in Utah, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    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

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 10:35 a.m.

    Sometimes idiocy really is a crime.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 10:34 a.m.

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

  • Belching Cow Sandy, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 10:27 a.m.

    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.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 10:07 a.m.

    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.