“When you follow the tedium of the legal justice system, you begin to understand why some defendants, even though they are innocent, decide to cop pleas rather than follow the process through to completion. It can be a maddening process that is often difficult for the non-jurist to make sense of, and it doesn’t necessarily matter what country you are in.
Three cases involving food rights activists are cases in point:
*In Canada, raw milk dairy farmer Michael Schmidt was in court Thursday, placed in the awkward position of seeking an Ontario judge’s permission to travel next week to British Columbia so he could stand trial on separate contempt-of-court charges. You see, Schmidt is barred from traveling because he is facing conspiracy charges in Ontario in connection with his supposed involvement in the disappearance of a herd of Shropshire sheep last year in Ontario.
The sheep were targeted by public health authorities for slaughter because they were thought to be diseased. As part of Schmidt’s bail terms, he’s had his passport confiscated, and he’s not permitted even to leave Ontario without permission. Hence, his court appearance so he could be granted the privilege of going on trial in another province—the British Columbia charges grow out of his takeover of a herdshare, so that members there would continue to receive their raw milk. Canada’s national health system, Health Canada, had approved use of raw milk as a cosmetic, yet British Columbia public health authorities refused to recognize the designation, and insisted on prosecuting Schmidt, along with an associate. Gordon Watson. It’s generally understood in Canada that Schmidt is in “lockdown” as a way to muffle his powerful voice on behalf of food rights during travels around North America….”
We hope to have more details tomorrow, on the situation.