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Josh Wolf Ordered Back to Prison

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 11 months ago

For Immediate Release September 19, 2006

Josh Wolf Ordered Back to Prison

Federal Govt. Insists on Punishing Journalist During Appeal Process


SAN FRANCISCO – A panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a motion by the Federal Government yesterday revoking bail for independent journalist and blogger Josh Wolf. Wolf had been out of prison on bail since September 1 after spending a month at a Dublin Federal facility. He has been ordered to report back to prison by 1 p.m. on Wednesday, September 18 and we will host a press conference with him and his supporters tomorrow outside the Dublin facility.


Press Conference

Wednesday, September 20 at 11:30 a.m.

Dublin Federal Correctional Institution

5701 8th Street (Camp Parks), Dublin, CA

Speakers: Josh Wolf, Attorney Jose Luis Fuentes of Siegel & Yee, Carlos Villarreal of the National Lawyers Guild


The panel consisted of Circuit Judges Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, Susan P. Graber and Richard R. Clifton, the same 3 justices who upheld the lower court’s contempt ruling just over a week ago. “These justices have a very hostile approach toward free speech protections, stating incorrectly in their earlier ruling that state law would not have protected Wolf” said Carlos Villarreal, Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area (NLGSF). “The panel also implied that public demonstrations were less protected than confidential sources, but then went on to state that even with a confidential source grand juries still have the power to make demands of journalists and send them to prison if they do not comply. It is no surprise that they quickly wanted to revoke bail.”


Wolf’s attorneys have argued that forcing Josh back to prison while they are appealing the contempt ruling is punishment not coercion. “The government argues and apparently the panel agrees that imprisoning Wolf will coerce him to hand over any videotape he might have,” said Jose Luis Fuentes, an NLGSF member representing Wolf. “But as long as we are awaiting a decision by the full 9th Circuit Court, imprisoning Wolf is just punishment and serves no coercive effect.” Wolf’s lawyers will petition the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals en banc, which would request a decision from all the judges rather than just a 3 judge panel.


Josh Wolf was ordered in contempt by Federal Judge William Alsup on August 1st. The US Attorney’s Office, led by Assistant US Attorney Jeffrey Finigan, wants Wolf to testify before a federal grand jury and hand over a video tape of a protest that occurred in San Francisco’s Mission District last July.


Court documents and past news articles can be found at http://joshwolf.net/grandjury/

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