Joseph Buddenberg Sentenced to 2 Years in Federal Prison in Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Case

Joseph Buddenberg Sentenced to 2 Years in Federal Prison in Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Case

San Diego, CA — This morning in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Joseph Buddenberg was sentenced to two years in federal prison for Conspiracy to Violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. The sentencing follows his signing a non-cooperating plea agreement in which he plead guilty to conspiring to free thousands of animals from fur farms throughout the U.S. and to cause damage to businesses associated with the fur industry.

“Today’s sentencing must be understood in the context of the complete illegitimacy of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act,” said Rachel Meeropol, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the lead lawyer on several constitutional challenges to the law.  “This is a law bought and paid for by corporations that profit from the exploitation of animals, in the service of nothing but their own bottom line. Prosecuting non-violent liberation of animals as ‘terrorism’ is a transparent attempt to silence an entire movement. The AETA violates fundamental constitutional principles of free speech and due process, and we will continue to challenge it wherever it is used. ”

Buddenberg and his co-defendant Nicole Kissane were indicted under the AETA last July. Earlier this year, both signed non-cooperating plea agreements; Kissane’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for June.

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  1. What is a noncoöperating plea agreement? I cannot find a reference that uses that exact term vs what I suppose would be a coöperating plea agreement. I certainly believe that calling this type of action “terrorism” is way over the top, but I do understand that civil disobedience of this kind usually has consequences of being found guilty, as most juries are unaware of the possibility of jury nullification and prosecutors do their best to keep it that way.

    • Sally, it is an unofficial term meaning that in order to reach an agreement Nicole and Joseph were not required to debrief or inform on others in the movement.

      • Thanks!
        (That comment was too short for WordPress)—I appreciate the info!

  2. I hope AETA continues being challenged. It is abusive corporate and business America at its worst. Stopping animal cruelty through nonexistent and unenforced laws has gotten us nowhere.