“Wisconsin’s Attorney General has signaled his willingness to go ahead with the possibly provocative step of throwing dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger into jail.
In a package of documents sent to Hershberger, the Wisconsin Department of Justice included a letter to Judge Guy D. Reynolds, in which Assistant Attorney General Eric D. Defort complains about “what the State believes are violations of the Court ordered conditions of release.” He adds: “In view of the apparent violation of the Court’s orders, the State respectfully asks this Court to address the issue of bail at the next hearing.” The next hearing is next Friday, March 2, at which a demonstration in support of Hershberger is scheduled to take place.
When Hershberger was charged with four misdemeanors, and released on $500 bail, he signed an agreement in which he committed to “no manufacturing or processing of dairy products” and “no sale or distribution of milk produced on his dairy farm” without appropriate licenses. Moreover, there was to be “no impeding, obstruction (including the provision of false information) or interference with any Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) inspection.”
The agreement warned, “If you violate any of these conditions, your bond may be revoked, you may be returned to jail…” The four misdemeanors Hershberger has been charged with could land Hershberger in jail for up to three years, with more than $10,000 in fines.
Within weeks of signing the agreement, Hershberger had second thoughts, and in a courtroom statement to Judge Reynolds said he “would much rather spend the rest of my life behind bars or even die than to be found guilty of such a gross sin” in withholding foods from “its owners’ families.”…”