[Ppnews] Midwest Green Scare arrestee Marie Mason accepts a plea bargain
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Sep 10 17:53:49 EDT 2008
From: freemarie at riseup.net
The following was written by a friend and supporter of Marie's with the
Fifth Estate Collective. Marie is scheduled for a change of plea hearing
tomorrow. We will post Marie's unredacted plea as soon as it is accepted
by the court.
Got Your Back Collective
On Monday, September 8, 2008 Midwest "Green Scare" arrestee Marie Mason
accepted a plea bargain offered by federal authorities.
The "Green Scare" is the name given to the recent arrests of animal rights
and ecological activists who have been charged with acts of economic
sabotage, in which federal authorities have sought outrageous sentences
(often Life in prison) and have publicly and legally labeled the activists
as "terrorists", despite the fact that no one has been hurt in any of the
Mason was arrested in March 2008 and charged with four felony offenses,
which were related to two 1999 actions of eco-sabotage in which no one was
hurt. Mason's arrest was based on information provided by Frank Ambrose,
Mason's former husband, who unbeknownst to her had been cooperating with
authorities for a number of years, and who entered his own plea bargain in
March of 2008.
Mason has been an activist in the environmental and labor movement for 25
years, and has resisted cooperating with authorities in a number grand
juries. Since her arrest, Mason and her lawyer have been pushing for a
non-cooperating agreement of the kind that other "Green Scare" arrestees
have been able to get from west coast prosecutors.
However, federal prosecutors in Michigan have refused to offer her a
similar deal. The only plea-bargain offered was for 15-20 years but which
required her to implicate other activists by name. Additionally it was
stipulated that if Mason did not accept this offer by Friday, September 5,
prosecutors were going to ask for Life at the trial, and also indict her
on new charges relating to two other eco-sabotage actions. Mason refused
this offer since it required her providing information against other
activists and prepared to go to trial.
On September 5, two hours before the deadline, federal prosecutors
relented and offered a new deal, which required Mason only to name Frank
Ambrose in her plea bargain. No information that Ambrose had not already
provided was required from her. Additionally, the plea bargain included
clauses that do not require her to perform any debriefs (as other
non-cooperating Green Scare arrestees did) and did not require any
Mason consulted with several different attorneys concerning this offer,
including Lauren Regan of the Civil Liberties Defense Center in Eugene,
Oregon. Their conclusion was that, despite the fact that Mason would be
required to name Ambrose in her deal, no activists would be hurt by this
agreement, including Ambrose himself. The likely reason that Mason is
required to name Ambrose is because one of the four charges against Mason
is "conspiracy", and another person is required to be named for the
After holding out for six months and preparing to go to trial rather than
compromise other activists, this is not the deal that Mason would like to
accept, but it is the only option that federal authorities have offered.
Because of the cooperation of her former husband Ambrose, there is no
expectation that Mason would win a jury trial. Part of this decision is
also the long sentences handed to the very few Green Scare arrestees who
have gone to trail, such as Eric McDavid, as is the intense financial and
emotional strain that this process is taking on Mason's immediate family.
Mason thanks her supporters for all their efforts. She understands that
some of them will be unhappy with her decision to accept a plea bargain
which names only Frank Ambrose, even though no additional information is
provided about him which he has not already divulged by him, and that her
own predicament is because of his choice to cooperate with authorities.
However, after holding out for six months in hope of a full
non-cooperating plea, and preparing to go to trial despite the impact it
will have on her family and her future, she has decided to accept this
In the spirit of full transparency, the plea bargain will be made public
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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