Animal Rights/Vegan Activists' Strategies Articles

Not Guilty by Reason of Humanity

From Paul Darwin Picklesimer, DxE, Direct Action Everywhere
December 2022

The feeling of hearing those words “not guilty” after five long years of the uncertainty and judicial bureaucracy was indescribable. But mostly I felt proud. Proud of the jury, our legal team, and Direct Action Everywhere.... While private citizens may face severe consequences for animal abuse, large corporations go unpunished– simply because the laws were put in place by those in power to protect their own interests.

Piglets Lily and Lizzy

Having one's fate determined by a jury of 8 strangers is a surreal experience, especially knowing a guilty verdict would put me in prison for 11 years. Despite the potential for a harsh sentence, I refused to accept a plea deal. Even after the judge offered to declare a mistrial, I declined. Even though the judge prevented us from presenting all of the evidence of the horrifying conditions the animals lived in, I wanted to know what the jury's decision would be, even if they were only allowed to be shown a few still photos.

It was apparent my co-defendant, Wayne Hsiung, and I were up against the machinery of a multibillion dollar corporation with endless resources to ensure our prosecution. Our charges? Two counts of felony burglary and one of misdemeanor theft.

Our crime? Rescuing two dying piglets, Lily and Lizzie, from a factory farm owned by Smithfield Foods, a wholly owned subsidiary of WH Group, the world’s largest “pork producer.”

So why didn’t I take the offered plea deal?


Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE.

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