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by Dave Gradijan

N.J. Animal Group Convicted of Inciting Violence

News
Mar 03, 20062 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

On Thursday, an animal rights group and six of its members were convicted in federal court of inciting violence against a company that uses animals for testing household products and other drugs, the Associated Press reports via FOXNews.com.

The charges against the group include animal enterprise terrorism and stalking, among others, and they carry penalties of two to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000, according to the AP.

Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), the group that was convicted, reputedly threatened, bullied and vandalized Huntingdon Life Sciences and its employees over a five-year period, according to the AP. The group also allegedly posted information on its website pertaining to Huntingdon’s employees and business partners, some of whom received individual threats and saw incidences of vandalism at their homes, the AP reports.

SHAC said its actions were not illegal and were protected by the First Amendment’s freedom of speech guarantee, the AP reports.

Before convicting SHAC and the members in the week-long trial, the jury deliberated for three days, according to the AP.

Six people were charged including the group’s president, Pamelyn Ferdin, a former child actress, and five other employees by the names of Joshua Harper, Lauren Gazzola, Jacob Conroy, Andrew Stepanian and Darius Fullmer, the AP reports.

“For the government to say you can’t say this and you can’t say that is going down a very scary path of going toward fascism,” Ferdin told the jury.

Another of the defendants said he thought it was wrong to injure any form of life, but he saw no harm in throwing rocks through a home’s windows as long as there was nobody inside, according to the AP.

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