Friday, February 04, 2011

Briana Waters Reindicted

Feb. 1, 2011 Earth First! Newswire

On January 26, 2011, Briana Waters was re-indicted in a 9 count indictment
which also served as a superseding indictment for Joseph Dibee, Josephine
Overaker, and Justin Solondz. Briana is accused of: conspiracy to commit
offense or defraud the US, possessing an unregistered firearm, arson of a
building used in interstate commerce or in activity affecting interstate
commerce, using a destructive device during a crime of violence, and arson
of a building belonging to an institution receiving federal financial
assistance. The use of a destructive device charge alone carries a 30 year
minimum sentence. Trial is currently set for June 27, 2011 ­ although this
date will almost certainly be pushed back. For more information on Briana
and how you can help, please visit:

On Wednesday, September 15, 2010 the Ninth
Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Briana's
conviction and remanded for a new trial. The
opinion of the three-judge panel was unanimous.

Excerpted from the Panel's opinion: "Having
reviewed the record of the proceedings below, we
conclude that Waters' trial suffered from a
number of errors. Because the government has not
convinced us that Waters' verdict was unaffected
by those errors, we reverse her conviction and '
remand for a new trial."

Briana's Appeals Attorney, Dennis Riordan, of San
Francisco, petitioned the Court for Briana's
immediate release, and the prosecution responded,
opposing the petition. For more details of the
Court's decision:

On Wednesday, October 13th, 2010 the Ninth
Circuit Court of Appeals granted Briana's
petition for Bail ("Bail" means release upon
condition. Briana's condition is that she appear
in Court when required to do so. No bail money
was set for her release). Thanks to the
fast-working staff at Dennis Riordan's office
(Briana's appeals attorney) the paperwork for her
release was processed by the BOP with surprising
speed. By 11:30 AM on Thursday, October 14th,
Briana was released from the Danbury prison! To
make this wonderful day even better, the stars
aligned... the visit of Briana's family coincided
with the day of her release, so they were there
to pick her and reunite with her. It was an
amazing stroke of timing, because their visit has
been planned back in August, before she had even
won her appeal. Information about winning the appeal is below.
About Briana

Briana Waters is a devoted and loving mother of
her four-year-old daughter. She is a professional
musician and violin teacher based in Oakland,
California. On March 15, 2006, she was falsely
accused of participating in a politically
motivated arson which took place at the University
of Washington in May 2001.

Briana steadfastly maintains her innocence. She
is a peaceful woman who believes in non-violence.
In 2001, she directed a documentary, entitled
Watch, which tells the moving true story of a
peaceful campaign that built a coalition between
environmentalists, loggers, and the residents of
Randle, Washington to save the old-growth forest
on Watch Mountain.

Briana's family, friends, and supporters were
heartbroken and left in disbelief when a federal
jury found her guilty of two counts of arson on
March 6, 2008. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
denied Briana's request for release on bail
pending appeal in early July, 2008. In August of
2008, Briana was transferred from SeaTac in
Washington State to the Danbury, Connecticut
Federal Correctional Institution where she was
designated to serve a six year sentence.

No comments: