Steven Donziger, Attorney Focused by Chevron, Appeals to Biden for Pardon

Right after exhausting his possibilities in the judicial process, American legal professional Steven Donziger on Wednesday released a campaign seeking a
pardon from U.S. President Joe Biden for his misdemeanor conviction—the end result of a system that authorities all over the world have condemned as retaliatory for his local weather justice do the job and an abuse of the nation’s judiciary.

“No matter wherever a person stands on the political spectrum, we should all be capable to concur that what occurred to me in the United States need to not occur to anybody in any state that adheres to the rule of law,” Donziger
reported in a assertion asserting a letter to Biden signed by 14 outstanding legal professionals and a leader at the advocacy group Amazon Enjoy.

“Companies ought to not be authorized to choose direct handle of a community prosecution from the authorities and lock up their critics, as occurred to me,” asserted Donziger, who put in 993 days in
federal jail and on dwelling arrest. “It is an outrageous abuse of energy that not only wrecked me and my family’s lifetime for a few a long time but also humiliated our region in the eyes of the planet.”

“As significantly as we can convey to, this was the nation’s 1st personal corporate prosecution and is an clear violation of the rule of law.”

Donziger is a Harvard Law Faculty graduate recognized globally for symbolizing farmers and Indigenous persons in a lawsuit focusing on Chevron for polluting communities in Ecuador that resulted in a $9.5 billion judgment against the oil giant. After approximately two decades of battling the legal professional in Ecuadorian courts, the firm went immediately after him immediately in U.S. federal court.

The lawyers backing his pardon ask for in depth in their letter how Donziger endured a “patently biased prosecution by a team of three Chevron-joined lawyers” for refusing to comply with an order from a U.S. judge—an ex-corporate attorney with
investments in the oil giant—to convert more than his electronics and customer communications to the business.

“As much as we can notify, this was the nation’s to start with private company prosecution and is an noticeable violation of the rule of law,” they wrote to Biden. “As a end result of the private prosecution, Mr. Donziger, a resident of New York Town, invested close to a few years in detention at residence and in jail even though the maximum sentence underneath the regulation for his misdemeanor offense stage was 180 times.”

“A pardon would bring a evaluate of justice to a prosecution that has been commonly criticized as a violation of worldwide legislation by respected intercontinental and U.S.-centered jurists, and as a grave menace to absolutely free speech by a multitude of political leaders and about 120 highly regarded civil culture companies which include Amnesty Worldwide, Global Witness, and Greenpeace,” the attorneys argued.

Critics of the process that resulted in his conviction incorporate the
United Nations Functioning Team on Arbitrary Detention a team of worldwide trial observers led by Stephen A. Rapp, U.S. ambassador for war crimes below the Obama administration Judge Steven Menashi, appointed to U.S. Courtroom of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit by previous President Donald Trump and suitable-wing U.S. Supreme Courtroom Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, who dissented from a selection not to get his case.

“I am impressed by Steven’s braveness, resilience, and determination,” reported Paul Paz y Miño of Amazon View, who signed the 12-website page letter along with the team of attorneys. “Which is why Chevron desires to demolish him. Steven’s incredibly existence results in monumental monetary risk to Chevron and to the oil sector generally. Every fossil fuel market lawyer in this place fears Steven.”

“A lot more broadly, Chevron’s outrageous abuse of ability and manipulation of the federal judiciary to concentrate on Steven should really deeply concern every advocate in the state, specifically these who have interaction in protest,” Paz y Miño warned. “What happened to Steven is a central part of the fossil gasoline industry’s playbook to silence public opposition.”

Water Protector Authorized Collective director Natali Segovia, just one of the attorneys who signed on, likewise condemned authorized strategies applied by corporations to focus on environmental campaigners.

“About the world, human legal rights defenders like Steven Donziger are specific and even killed for their advocacy and function on Indigenous legal rights and environmental justice issues,” Segovia claimed. “Steven’s circumstance, nevertheless, is emblematic of the weaponization of the regulation by a strong company in opposition to a human rights defender—an lawyer, to be exact—and sets a risky precedent.”

“If it could occur to Steven, a Harvard-trained human rights attorney, it could happen to any individual on local weather frontlines.”

“If it could take place to Steven, a Harvard-skilled human legal rights lawyer, it could occur to any person on local weather frontlines,” Segovia pressured. “This is what we are guarding against. This is why a pardon for Steven scarcely hits the suggestion of the iceberg to reverse study course, but is a necessary stage in ensuring elementary legal rights of because of approach and human rights in the United States.”

The other legal professionals supporting Donziger—who hail from prestigious universities and groups this sort of as the Center for Constitutional Rights—are Nadia Ahmad, Baher Azmy, Scott Wilson Badenoch, Terrence Collingsworth, Aaron Fellmeth, Richard Friedman, Martin Garbus, Jeffrey Haas, Ronald Kuby, Jeanne Mirer, Aaron Marr Web page, Nadine Strossen, and Michael Tigar.

Along with thanking “from the bottom of my heart the lots of distinguished lawyers who have agreed to symbolize me in this marketing campaign,” Donziger identified as on the Biden administration to look into Chevron for abusing the U.S. lawful method.

Donziger also stated that it remains “crucial that men and women concentration on what is of paramount significance, which is the plight of the thousands of folks in Ecuador who face a severe threat of demise if Chevron does not comply with the rule of regulation.”