Apparently 6 vandals who cause $60,000 damage to a power plant in England were acquitted solely on the argument that they were helping stop global warming -- in other words, they admitted their vandalism, but said it was in a higher cause.
It's been a pretty unusual ten days
but today has been truly extraordinary. At 3.20pm, the jury came back
into court and announced a majority verdict of not guilty! All six defendants - Kevin, Emily, Tim, Will, Ben and Huw - were acquitted of criminal damage.
To recap on how important this verdict is: the
campaigners were accused of causing £30,000 of criminal damage to
Kingsnorth smokestack from painting. The defence was that they had 'lawful excuse' - because they were acting to protect property around the world "in immediate need of protection" from the impacts of climate change, caused in part by burning coal.
So the testimony centered not on whether they actually vandalized the power plant - they never denied it - but on whether the criminals were correct to fear global warming from power plants. I don't know much about British law, but this seems to be a terrible precedent. Or maybe not - does this mean that I can go and legally vandalize every Congressman's house for wasting my money?