Categorized | Politics

Who Bombed Judi Bari?

Car-Bombed Activist Can View Evidence

 

By JONNY BONNER
Courthouse News Service

 

The FBI must hand over evidence tied to a decades-old car bombing in the Bay Area in which two Earth First activists were injured, a federal judge ruled.

On May 24, 1990, a pipe bomb wrapped with nails exploded under the Subaru wagon of environmentalist Judi Bari in Oakland, California. Bari and a fellow activist, Darryl Cherney, were seriously injured in the blast.

The pair had been traveling to college campuses, rallying against the logging of old-growth redwood.

In a federal lawsuit, Bari and Cherney said the Oakland Police Department and FBI framed them, and that the FBI withheld evidence crucial to solving the bombing.

Though Bari died of breast cancer in 1997, a jury ruled in favor of her and Cherney five years later. The parties then spent two years in protracted settlement negotiations.

Bari’s estate and Cherney were awarded $4.4 million in damages, but the FBI failed to release a host of evidence related to the bombing, claiming the evidence was “contraband.”

The withheld evidence includes “the fragments of the device which exploded in Bari’s car, a partially-exploded pipe bomb that was found at a Louisiana Pacific lumber mill in Cloverdale, California.; a hand-lettered sign found near the Cloverdale device reading ‘LP screws mill workers’; a fingerprint obtained from the sign; an analysis of the fingerprint; and a letter to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat newspaper, known as the ‘Lord’s Avenger’ letter, by an individual claiming responsibility for the Cloverdale device and the bombing of Bari’s car,” according to the court.

Cherney objected to the destruction of the evidence, which the FBI was obligated to announce, in 2010, and asked that it be sent to an independent forensic lab for testing.

The government objected to a declaration by attorney James Wheaton that Cherney used to support his motion. Wheaton’s declaration addressed the understanding of the parties at the time of the settlement agreement regarding the disposition of the evidence.

A year later, U.S. Magistrate Judge James Larson upheld Cherney’s objection and Wheaton’s declaration.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken affirmed the magistrate’s order.

Having considered all of the papers filed by the parties, the court grants the United States’ motion for de novo review, denies Cherney’s renewed motion to strike, overrules the United States’ objection to the magistrate judge’s order, and grants Cherney’s request for action and motion to implement,” according to the opinion dated Saturday. “The court affirms Magistrate Judge Larson’s order.”

Cherney must propose a test for the evidence, and the United States has 14 days to object to that plan.

Cherney recently released a documentary, “ “Who Bombed Judi Bari?” chronicling the events.

The 14-page court document and order by United States District Judge Claudia Wilken of March 31, 2012, can be found here.

 

This article was reprinted by permission from the Courthouse News Service and forwarded to the Humboldt Sentinel by Skippy Massey. Photographs courtesy of the Humboldt Sentinel.

* * * * * * * * *

Additional articles can be found in the Los Angeles Times’ “Judge Orders Testing of Evidence in Judi Bari Bombing” by Dean Kuipers and the San Francisco Chronicle’s ”Earth First Bomb Evidence Won’t be Destroyed” by Bob Egelko.

Articles and reader comments by the local Humboldt Herald regarding the Judi Bari car bombing can be found here, here, and here.

Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • What' happening
    Back in May 2009, the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life conducted surveys and found that the more religious an American is, the more likely he or she is to support torture.There are fewer Americans in prison, jail, probation, or parole than any time since 2003How well is your state doing? […]
  • Jazz break
    Chet Baker, "Autumn Leaves" […]
  • Pocket paradigm
    War is doing things overseas that we would go to prison for at home.- Sam Smith […]
  • Study: Red light cameras don't work
    Ars Technica - The Chicago Tribune released the results of a study it commissioned on injury crashes and red light cameras, revealing that while right angle crash incidents have been reduced, rear-end crashes that resulted in injuries went up 22 percent. The results of the study throw cold water on the booster efforts of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administrat […]
  • Five years of failure
    From 50 years of our overstocked achivesSam Smith, 1986 - I was asked to give a toast at the fifth anniversary celebration of the DC Community Humanities Council. Here is what I said: Five years ago the DC Community Humanities Council was formed, charged with the diffusion of ideas, the encouragement of thought and the inspiration of rational discourse withi […]
  • What's happening
    Science journals screw up hundreds of times each year. This guy keeps track of every mistake.Communities are celebrating three victories against fracking this week. Quebec, New York and New Brunswick all rejected fracking after years of opposition from communities calling for the protection of community health and the environment.In a move cheered by environ […]
  • Word: Palestine
     Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz, Israel - In his address from the White House, Obama said, “Let us leave behind the legacy of both colonization and communism, for the sake of the Cuban people, the American people and the world.”There is another hot-button issue in which Americans must leave behind the legacy of colonialism and communism, and that is the Israeli […]
  • There may be hope for our corporate and political psychopaths yet
    Vox - There’s evidence that psychopaths might have more of a cognitive-processing problem — that they have difficulty paying attention to more than one thing at a time — than an emotional problem. So they focus tightly on a goal (say, stealing money) and lose the contextual information around it (it will make the victim feel sad, it's socially unaccepta […]
  • Ferguson prosecutor admits putting liars on the stand
    Buzzfeed - In his first interview since announcing Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the shooting of Mike Brown, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch told radio station KTRS that he allowed witnesses he knew were lying to testify to the grand jury.    KTRS: Why did you allow people to testify in front of the grand jury in which you knew the […]
  • House Intelligence Committee taken over by Blackwater lobbyist
    Republic Report -  For the House Intelligence Committee, which oversees government intelligence operations and agencies, the changing of the guard means a lobbyist for Academi, the defense contractor formerly known as Blackwater, is now in charge.Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA), the incoming chairman of the Intelligence Committee when the House reconvenes in […]
  • Debt collectors hounding seniors
    NBC- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently reported that for older Americans, debt collection is the top complaint. About one out of three complaints submitted to the agency by seniors is about debt collection. The major complaints include being hounded for medical debts currently in dispute, attempts to collect the debts of deceased family membe […]
  • How Christmas has changed
    Pew Research […]
  • The hack the media has forgotten about
     Tim Shorrock - Meanwhile, CIA's hack of the Senate computer system is swept under the rug and blithely ignored. After all, "boys will be boys." No biggie. […]
  • It all has to start somewhere
      The Beatles playing to 18 People in Aldershot, England, December, 1961 […]
  • American exceptionalism
    Huffington Post - The United States is the only nation among advanced economies that does not provide a legal guarantee of paid leave. New Zealand and Australia ensure respectively 30 and 28 days of paid leave, and Canada's federal government stipulates 19 paid days, with some provinces adding on additional time. Even in Japan, where thousands commit su […]