Donziger: Prison sentence is federal judge’s attempt to ‘punish me as much as she can’

Former environmental lawyer Steven Donziger, who famously won a case against Texaco in the 1990’s, said on Tuesday that the recent prison sentence handed down to him is an attempt by U.S District Judge Loretta Preska to “punish me as much as she can.”

At the beginning of October, Preska sentenced Donziger to six months in prison on contempt charges, on top of the nearly 800 days of house arrest he has already served. Last month, the United Nations’ Working Group on Arbitrary Detention condemned Donziger’s house arrest, saying it violated international laws and far exceeded the maximum sentence for this sort of violation.

“This is all part of an effort by Chevron and a federal judge — who refused to give me a jury and found me guilty of contempt of court, something I contest and am appealing — to punish me as much as she can,” Donziger said, appearing on Hill.TV’s “Rising.”

“Basically the broader issue now is whether I have to serve my six-month sentence before my appeal can be resolved. And I think I have a fabulous appeal. I fully expect to be exonerated,” Donziger added.

Preska has been criticized for her connections to Chevron and her sentence of Donziger. Preska previously served on the advisory board of the Federalist Society, an organization to which Chevron has donated.

See part of Donziger’s interview above.

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