Criminal Defense Attorney Robert G. Stahl Represents Young Man Convicted Under Federal "Animal Enterprise Protection Act;" Argues Before Third Circuit Court of Appeals
TRENTON, NJ - They were never charged with physical violence in their animal rights campaign against Huntington Life Sciences, a contract laboratory with one facility in New Jersey and two in the UK.
But all seven "Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty" defendants were convicted in 2006 by a Trenton Federal Court jury of conspiracy under the federal Animal Enterprise Protection Act. Varying defendants, including the "SHAC" organization, were also convicted of conspiracy to harass using a telecommunications device, conspiracy to commit interstate stalking, and stalking via the Internet.
Criminal defense attorney Robert G. Stahl represented the lead defendant post-trial and in their appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
In oral argument before the appeals panel in 2008 Stahl acknowledged that the SHAC7 defendants had operated a website with news and information about animal rights action, but stressed that the website did not encourage web visitors to undertake violence or any other actions against the Huntington facilities, its principals, or its employees.
The Government stressed, however, that the convicted defendants had posted home addresses, names of Huntington employees, and other data that was designed to terrorize those individuals and organizations that worked for or dealt with the Huntington company.
When attorney Stahl was asked by a Third Circuit judge if the SHAC7's intent was to create fear with the information it posted on its website, he responded that there was no evidence; there were no demonstrations at schools or activist approaches to a child.
The defendants' convictions were upheld in October 2009.