A Litigation Article from All-Creatures.org

Smithfield Trial juror speaks up against Utah's new anti-rescue bill

From Cassie King, DxE, Direct Action Everywhere
February 2023

Just because a prosecutor loses a case doesn’t mean the law should be changed.

rescuing sick Piglets

On January 31, Utah’s largest newspaper, The Salt Lake Tribune, published an op-ed written by R. Lynn Carlson, one of the jurors from the groundbreaking Smithfield Trial where open rescue activists were acquitted for the first time in history.

Lynn defends the acquittal of animal rescuers and criticizes the reaction of Utah legislators who have introduced an anti-rescue bill, House Bill 114, in direct response to the outcome of the Smithfield Trial ["R. Lynn Carlson: Bill would undermine Utah's jury system"].

If it passes, HB 114 will change the nature of Utah’s theft statute to prevent any defendant from raising a defense that their actions were necessary to save an animal who is “sick, dying, or a liability to the owner.”

This bill goes against the will of ordinary Utahns. Instead of taking action to end the animal cruelty that DxE exposed at Smithfield, the Utah legislature is doubling down on factory farm owners’ right to leave sick and suffering animals to die.

Lynn says it well in his op-ed:

“This bill is a reckless and impulsive reaction by politicians who are clearly re-writing the law to appease Smithfield and the powerful agriculture lobby in Utah. The people of Utah should speak up against HB 114 and protect the integrity of our criminal justice system."

Return to Litigation Articles