Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade member Joseph Bateman, 20, was to
be sentenced on April 12 after being convicted in February of felony criminal
mischief and misdemeanor possession of an “instrument of crime.” Although
Bateman still professes his innocence and called for demonstrations at
the court house, this conviction should strengthen the hand of Jacques
Ferber Furs’ lawsuit against CAFT.
In that Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization-based lawsuit, Ferber essentially maintains that CAFT is
engaged in a criminal conspiracy to shut down its legitimate, legal business.
Such lawsuits have already succeeded against pro-life groups and individuals
who merely advocated breaking the law but apparently didn’t engage in
the act themselves. Having a CAFT member not only advocating breaking
the law but also being convicted for doing so, strengthens the Ferber
If I were CAFT, I’d try to find a way to settle with Ferber quickly,
though since I’m not, the best outcome of the trial, beyond any verdict,
will hopefully be focusing a national spotlight on the endemic tolerance
and encouragement of illegal behavior by much of the animal rights movement.
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