News from Grand Jury Resistance

Elliot Stoller sent along the following from the Seattle Times:

“Katherine Olejnik, a 23-year-old recent Evergreen College graduate living in Olympia, was among those jailed. Her father said his daughter has been an activist in social-justice causes since her youth. She is not suspected in the courthouse vandalism, court papers say. She was called in to testify Sept. 27 about someone she knows, according to her lawyer.

Even after Olejnik was given full immunity from prosecution by the judge, she declined to testify. U.S. District Court Judge Richard A. Jones said he had no choice but to send her to jail for up to 18 months, or until she changes her mind.

“What (prosecutors) decided to do is choose people and punish them for their association,” said her attorney, Jenn Kaplan.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office issued a general statement Sept. 13 about grand-jury proceedings, noting, “We do not investigate or seek to silence lawful free speech, or dissent. We do, however, investigate and enforce the law where speech crosses the line and becomes threats or acts of violence.”

Matthew Duran, a roommate of Olejnik’s who works in computer security, was jailed for civil contempt Sept. 13 after he, too, refused to testify before the grand jury. A longtime social-justice activist, he describes himself as an anarchist, according to his attorney, Kim Gordon. He is not suspected in the courthouse vandalism.

“One of our concerns was they were really targeting him because they perceived him to be associated with the anarchist community,” Gordon said. “It’s kind of a fishing expedition.”

Appeals of Olejnik’s and Duran’s case are pending.”

Read the article in the Seattle Times?

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