Tim DeChristopher has been pulled out of his minimum security camp at Herlong federal prison in California and thrown into isolated confinement in an 8 x 10-foot cell. His latest crime? Sending an email to a colleague with a “threat” to give back a $25,000 donation to his legal defense fund because he discovered that his donor was exporting U.S. manufacturing jobs.
In 2011, Tim DeChristopher was sentenced to two years in prison for having non-violently disrupted a federal auction of oil and gas leases in 2008. The auction itself was later found to have violated the government’s own rules and the parcels were pulled from the market. Tim was indicted a few months later even after the government removed the parcels. Judge Dee Benson said during sentencing that Tim would not be facing jail time if he had not been so outspoken as to the necessity for his actions.
When he heard about Tim’s email through unknown sources, an unnamed U.S. Congressman called and told prison officials that Tim was threatening people outside of prison. With that, Tim was hauled off to the Special Housing Unit known as “the hole,” where he has been ever since.
It is absurd that one phone call from an anonymous Congressman places Tim in indefinite confined isolation for exercising his First Amendment rights.
Tim will be in legal limbo until the investigation into the semantics of the word “threaten [to give back the donation]” in his email is complete. He will remain in indefinite detention in The Hole until that time and not granted a hearing until the government’s investigation is complete.
Tim DeChristopher should never have been put in jail in the first place.Tim should not be in isolated confinement right now. Sign the petition and then call the following numbers and demand:
“Tim DeChristopher inmate #16156-081 be immediately removed from the Special Housing Unit (SHU) and placed back in the Minimum Security Camp at FCI Herlong.”