Today CDP’s Alex Marquardt filed an amicus brief on behalf of Climate Defense Project, the Center for Protest Law & Litigation, Honor the Earth, the Climate Disobedience Center, and CodePink in Jessica Reznicek’s appeal of the sentence imposed on her by a federal district court earlier this year. The brief asks the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse Ms. Reznicek’s sentence, which used a federal terrorism enhancement to arrive at an eight-year prison term and over three million dollars in restitution in response to protests by Ms. Reznicek and Ruby Montoya against the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016 and 2017.
The amicus brief explains why the federal terrorism enhancement is doctrinally inappropriate, why the District Court’s reliance on Ms. Reznicek’s public statements violated her First Amendment rights, and why the sentence was overly harsh when considered in context of the larger movement for community self-determination and resistance to fossil fuel projects that has swept the country over the last decade. You can read the brief here.
Additional amicus briefs are expected to be filed in support of Ms. Reznicek by the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyers Guild and the Water Protector Legal Collective, and others.