[Ppnews] Daniel McGowan & codefendants take non-cooperation plea

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Nov 10 08:18:51 EST 2006


November 9, 2006 Update:

Friends and supporters,

We would like to inform everyone about the events in court today.
After months of negotiations and consideration, Daniel, along with
Jonathan Paul, Joyanna Zacher and Nathan Block, pled guilty to some of
the many charges. We cannot emphasize enough what an extremely
difficult decision this was for Daniel and we will continue to give
him our full support.

We do not want there to be any confusion about Daniel's plea agreement
so we have posted it here. Daniel agreed to plead guilty with the
understanding that he would not implicate or identify anyone at all
other than himself. The other three remaining co-defendants entered
pleas with the same terms. Daniel has done everything possible to
maintain his integrity, and he wants to be as open about his agreement
as possible. We have also provided Daniel's statement to Judge Aiken
and Daniel's lawyers statement below.

As we already stated, we will continue to support Daniel completely.
He and his family have been through an extremely difficult time and
deserve to get through this with the best possible outcome.

We will be posting information shortly about how others can continue
to help Daniel by submitting letters to the judge.

Please keep in mind that our fight is not over. We will still need
your help and support in the coming months, in order to fight for the
least possible sentence for Daniel.

Thank you for your continued support,
Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan

Download Daniel's Plea Agreement (PDF)


Daniel's Statement to Judge Aiken at the plea hearing

November 9, 2006

Your Honor,

This plea agreement is very important to me, because it allows me to
accept full responsibility for my actions and at the same time remain
true to my strongly held beliefs.

I hope that you will see that my actions were not those of terrorist
but of a concerned young person who was deeply troubled by the
destruction of Oregon's beautiful old-growth forests and the dangers
of genetically modified trees. After taking part in these two actions,
I realized that burning things down did not fit with my visions or
belief about how to create a better world. So I stopped committing
these crimes.

This last year has been a very trying time for my family and I would
like to extend my deepest love, admiration and appreciation to them
for standing by me through a very difficult time. I would also like to
apologize to the workers of the companies I targeted. I never intended
to hurt people, so when I read about things like family photos being
destroyed, I felt great remorse. I am truly sorry for the harm that I
caused.

Your Honor, after May of 2001, I put myself back on the path of open
and positive activism. Since then I have focused on helping victims of
domestic violence, campaigning for the environment, and advocating for
prisoners. While my commitment to pursuing a better world has not and
will not change, I have changed the way I am pursuing those goals. My
agreement with Mr. Paul, Mr. Block and Ms. Zacher to come together and
resolve this case by taking responsibility for what we did is an
important step in moving forward to have what I hope will be a
positive impact on my community. Thank you for allowing me a few
moments to speak to you this morning.


Press Release
Contact: Amanda Lee or Jeffery Robinson, Schroeter Goldmark & Bender
Tel: 206-622-8000, lee at sgb-law.com, robinson at sgb-law.com.

November 9, 2006

Daniel McGowan today entered pleas of guilty in connection with two
arsons in 2001 - one at Superior Lumber in Glendale and one at
Jefferson Poplar in Clatskanie.

Mr. McGowan accepts full responsibility for what he did. As Mr.
McGowan told Judge Aiken, after taking part in these two arsons, he
realized that they did not fit with his vision or beliefs about how to
create a better world. He abandoned that course.

In entering a plea agreement with the government, Mr. McGowan did not
abandon his deeply held beliefs. One of his conditions was that he
would not try to get a reduced sentence by implicating or identifying
other people the government may seek to prosecute, either now or
later. In a meeting this week with the government, Mr. McGowan gave a
truthful and honest account of what he did. He did not identify or
implicate any other individual. He and the other three defendants who
pled guilty today helped the government close this case by coming
forward together, to take responsibility. The government agrees that
by doing this, Mr. McGowan and the other defendants are all eligible
for a reduced sentence.

All of this is set forth in Mr. McGowan's plea agreement. The entire
agreement is in the record and available to the public.

Since 2001, Mr. McGowan has focused on positive, constructive, and
practical activism. He works to prevent domestic violence and to
assist victims. He organizes markets in which every good and service
is free to all. He works as an advocate for prisoners and encourages
others to support them with letters, books and money for food and
phone calls. He studies acupuncture and plans to earn a Master's
degrees we can provide alternative medicine services to needy patients.

Mr. McGowan would like to apologize to the people he harmed or could
have harmed the people whose family photos were destroyed in the
fires, the firefighters who responded to the scene, to workers whose
lives were disrupted. Harming people is never what Daniel intended,
and he is deeply sorry.

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
www.freedomarchives.org 
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