I have a court date Wednesday for a case setting hearing for the next trial Boeing and their "pocket prosecutor" will attempt to win against me after their last trial on these obviously fabricated charges failed miserably in a mistrial. Every juror--each of whom knew more about the law and facts of the case than everyone but a very few other interested parties--told the prosecutor to not retry the case. They didn't want another jury to go through what they did--being forced to decide whether or not to convict someone per a vague law obviously meant to apply against computer hackers, and not meant to be used as it was being used--for retaliation purposes against whistleblowers like me.
The Project on Government Oversight released this Press Release on the subject:
POGO--Project On Government Oversight
April 28, 2008
Criminal Charges Against Boeing Whistleblower Set Dangerous Precedent: Jurors Disagreed on Earlier Charges Resulting in a Mistrial
For Immediate Release
Contact: Nick Schwellenbach (202) 347-1122
This weekend POGO learned that former Boeing quality assurance inspector Gerald Eastman is facing a second round of criminal charges for his whistle-blowing to the press. King County prosecutors will announce a new trial date on April 30th, 2008 according to an email from Senior Deputy Prosecutor Scott Peterson to Eastman's public defender, Ramona Brandes.
"The charges against Eastman are a message to all potential whistle-blowers at Boeing," said Nick Schwellenbach, an investigator at POGO. "The message from Boeing is clear: We'll try to send you to jail if you disclose information to the press.”
Eastman was discovered accessing and downloading internal Boeing information, some of which he shared with reporters at the Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Eastman's disclosures to the press mostly concerned quality assurance and inspection problems he perceived while working at Boeing, though many of the articles he sparked related to increasing outsourcing of Boeing's production.
After conferring with Boeing, the King County Prosecutor's Office last month pursued criminal charges against Eastman for "computer trespass" a charge normally used against hackers, not whistle-blowers. The first trial resulted in a hung jury because some of the jurors believed Eastman's activities were whistle-blowing and should not result in criminal prosecution. The judge in that case told jurors not to consider whistle-blower laws.
Several lawyers have told POGO that the Eastman case is part of a disturbing trend of whistle-blowers increasingly facing criminal prosecution. The First Amendment right of free speech is a typical and powerful defense in these cases. Although a company can often legally terminate an employee, it is considered extreme for a government prosecutor to attempt to jail a whistle-blower for his activities.
Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption in order to achieve a more accountable federal government.
A comment on this blog entry by GFS:
This comment from Juror #11 was left on one of my blogs where I had posted the article about Mr. Eastman's Mistrial and Seattle Readers comments (comments much dominated for a time by apparent Company mouthpieces.) It appeared that in particular two commenters felt that if you shouted lies loud enough and frequently enough, they would become true, (only in their own feeble minds), though thankfully most readers are more adept than that. Without any further ado...Juror #11:
New comment from Juror #11 on your post #85 "Boeing Whistleblower Trial Ends With Hung Jury"
Comment: By Juror # 11:
zinger says "He needs a re-trial and the prosecuting attorney ought to pay a little more attention to whom ends up as a juror. The two no votes ought to have never happened."
You are out of touch with reality zinger. As a requirement of employment, Eastman was obligated to access the Boeing mainframe and data bases. Once an authorized user gains access to the system or database, the "computer trespass" law, created to prosecute outsiders for breaking into a computer system, does not apply to that user. Anything an authorized user does after gaining authorized access to the mainframe (wherever it is located), is NOT subject to this law. Yes, Eastman violated company policy, but there is a huge difference between breaking company policy and committing a felony. Boeing abused it's power by filing a false theft report with the Seattle PD, which resulted in the Theft squad of the Southeast division to obtain a search warrant to raid Eastman's house and confiscated any device with a memory. This was the only way Boeing could recover the files Eastman had archived. Filing a false police report is a felony if memory serves me right. So why did Boeing do it?
In reading the emails Eastman sent to Boeing senior management, in Chicago, he used the letters R.I.C.O. If Eastman was telling the truth, and making false reports to the new owners of the planes and the government bodies is a felony, then Boeing was indeed engaged in a racketeering conspiracy to cover up fraud in the inspection reports. They went ballistic and used their considerable "juice" to get the Seattle PD (filed a theft report for something which is not against the law in the State of Washington) to recover the files on Eastman's home computer and then pressured the elected king co. prosecutor (reportedly sponsored in the election by Boeing) to shop around for a crime they could stick Eastman with. It seems, copying and downloading files from a computer system is only a crime for outside (unauthorized) users. What Eastman did is NOT against the law in Washington State. That's what this whole trial was about. In fact, I came to believe this was an attempt to make copying and downloading files a crime without going to the legislature to get a law created. Had you been on this jury instead of me, it is likely that today, every employee in the state of Washington would have to be in constant worry that some arbitrary company policy could be used to send the local police to raid their home and confiscate all devices, from cell phones to mp3 players, which contain a memory. This extra legislative attempt to empower employers to terrorize their employees with the threat of criminal treatment for violating company policy is corporate terrorism IMHO.
Filing a false police report is just another example of Boeing's arrogant behavior that not only violated Eastman's State and Federal civil liberties, tried to expand an anti-hacker law to the rest of the employees in the State who have authorized access to their company computers, compromised the king County prosecutors office, while committing another possible RICO offence (filing a false police report). There is no doubt in my mind that a higher court would have reversed a "guilty" decision as the law being over broad. Justice would have been better served with a 12-0 verdict of not guilty. That was the outcome I fought for to send a message to the powerful that what they were doing was unacceptable, still, in the land of the free.
You can see all comments on this post here.
Thanks GFS and juror 11. True patriots both. Juror 11 has an uncanny ability to discern the truth even when he witnessed an unfair and biased trial on the part of Boeing's prosecutor and the judge.
"rcr," (Zinger, perhaps?) posting on non-company websites for what I would guess is his first time during non-company time (lunch) while at "work" at Boeing, is all wet. Juror 11 and the other juror were the ones that actually deliberated and used their considerable gray matter the most to arrive at the correct conclusion despite a trial rigged against the defense. The prosecutor had the "luxury" of lies and lies by omission during the trial--we did not. Both jurors saw through their smoke and mirrors to what the prosecution themselves know to be true--I wasn't guilty.
"rcr" should hope that Boeing remains a corrupt enterprise in several important areas so he can fit in. Or is that what he is trying to do by hoping for my demise?
The Last Inspector
The Last Inspector