Kinship Circle: UPDATE: Justice For Downer Cows? Plea Deal Softens Penalty

March 24th, 2008 7:41 pm by Kelly Garbato

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Sun, Mar 23, 2008 at 4:20 PM
Subject: UPDATE: Justice For Downer Cows? Plea Deal Softens Penalty

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST

UPDATE, 3/23/08: Justice For Downer Cows? Plea Deal Softens Penalty

ORIGINAL ALERT, 3/2/08: No Plea Deal For Hallmark Animal Torturers

KINSHIP CIRCLE feels Hallmark Meat Company workers videotaped electrically prodding cows crumpled on concrete…dragging them in heavy chains and hoisting them on forklift prongs…deserve maximum penalties for cruelty.

In our 3/2/08 letter-writing campaign, we asked District Attorney Michael A. Ramos to NOT strike a deal for Luis Sanchez who faced three years behind bars. But DA Ramos negotiated a plea deal at the hearing and Sanchez instead got 6 MONTHS in jail and deportation to his native Mexico thereafter.

It is still significant he was punished at all. Criminal charges against Sanchez and one-time pen manager Daniel Ugarte Navarro, may mark the
nation’s first felony charges for animal cruelty at a slaughterplant.

In the end, however, Sanchez walked away with a relative slap-on-the-wrist. Navarro’s arraignment was originally scheduled for tomorrow (3/24/08). If you sent our original letter (SEE BELOW) we asked that maximum penalties also be sought for Navarro — who faces jail time of eight years and eight months if convicted of five felony and three misdemeanor cruelty counts.

USING CONTACT INFORMATION IN PAST SAMPLE LETTER BELOW, you may wish to:

1. Thank District Attorney Michael A. Ramos for prosecuting former Hallmark Meat worker Luis Sanchez at all…
2. But express disappointment in his reduced sentence under a plea deal.
3. Reiterate your hope that no deals are sought for Daniel Ugarte Navarro and that he is prosecuted to the full extent allowed by law.

Abusing Cattle Gets Man Six Months In Jail And Deportation

Cicno, Calif. — One of two men caught on videotape apparently abusing cattle at a California slaughterhouse has been sentenced to six months in jail.

Rafael Sanchez Herrera pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of animal abuse in a San Bernardino County Superior Court on Friday. Under the plea deal the 34-year-old Sanchez will be deported to his native Mexico after serving jail time. A conviction on the three charges might have meant 3 years in jail.

The video shows Herrera and other workers at the Westland/Hallmark Meat Company dragging sick cows with metal chains and forklifts, shocking them with electric prods and shooting streams of water in their nose and faces. It led to the largest beef recall in U.S. history.

Source: Associated Press

More HSUS video here.

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ORIGINAL ALERT
3/2/08: No Plea Deal For Hallmark Animal Torturers

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Defendant’s Name: Luis Sanchez
NEXT APPEARANCE: 3/13/08, 8:30am, Disposition/Reset (PLEA DEAL)
Court Case #: FSB703329 / Court: S23 / Judge: Michael Dest

Defendants Name: Daniel Navarro
NEXT APPEARANCE: 3/24/08, 8:30am, Arraignment
Court Case #: FCH800088 / Court: C1 / Judge: Stanford Reichert

Kinship Circle - 2008-02-23 - Downers Dragged, Shocked, Rammed 01

Kinship Circle - 2008-02-23 - Downers Dragged, Shocked, Rammed 02

Kinship Circle - 2008-02-23 - Downers Dragged, Shocked, Rammed 03

HSUS UNDERCOVER VIDEOS: http://tinyurl.com/yul2lw

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SAMPLE LETTER — MODIFY THIS LETTER TO REFLECT SANCHEZ’S 6-MONTH JAIL SENTENCE, NEGOTIATED UNDER A PLEA DEAL.

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District Attorney Michael A. Ramos
San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office
316 N. Mt. View Ave.
San Bernardino, CA 92415-0004
ph: 909-387-8309; fax: 909-387-6313
email: da [at] da.sbcounty.gov

Dear DA Ramos and the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office:

I applaud your office for its proactive stance in the Westland/Hallmark Meat Company case. Criminal charges filed against former Hallmark workers Daniel Ugarte Navarro and Luis Sanchez are purportedly the nation’s first felony charges for animal cruelty at a slaughterplant.

I understand police spotted 11 occurrences of illegal activity in the Humane Society of the United States undercover video. One-time pen manager Navarro faces jail time of eight years and eight months if convicted of five felony and three misdemeanor cruelty counts. Sanchez, Navarro’s prior helper, could get three years behind bars for three misdemeanor counts of using machinery to maneuver animals.

But Sanchez may walk away with a slap on the wrist if the DA accepts a plea deal. Public defender Mario Martinez claims his client was “just an employee making $9 an hour. He was following directions.” This is no defense for circumventing animal cruelty laws.

Please do not strike a deal at Sanchez’s March 13 hearing. I also urge you to seek maximum penalties for Navarro, when he is arraigned March 24, 2008. Both defendants violated California’s animal cruelty and downed animal protection laws. Both should be prosecuted for their transgressions. California’s downer law orders incapacitated animals to be humanely euthanized or removed.

Apparently Hallmark management endorses or ignores violent means to force infirm animals to the kill box. As you know, the accused are videotaped electrically prodding the heads, necks, spine and rectums of animals crumpled on concrete. The cows can do little more than blink and moan in response. Navarro is seen paddling a non-ambulatory cow in the face and eye. The animals are dragged in heavy chains and hoisted on forklift prongs, mercilessly rammed and rolled over pavement.

I sincerely hope the DA’s ongoing investigation brings charges against Hallmark management as well. Navarro cast previous plant owner Donny Hallmark as the decision-maker, telling Chino police his boss directed him to coerce animals with a forklift or fire concentrated water jets into their nostrils and throats.

I call upon your office to set a strong precedent for prosecuting animal abuse within the livestock industry. Hallmark Meat Packing Company officers and employees need to be held responsible for animal torture.

Thank you,

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SOURCE OF INFORMATION / REFERENCE LINKS

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* DA offers cruelty deal / Lawyer: Meat worker did his job
http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_8401481

* Animal Cruelty at Hallmark Slaughter Plant Must be Prosecuted
https://community.hsus.org/campaign/CA_2008_hallmark_da?rk=97NgX2pqSBdnW

* These Are Downed Animals (FACT SHEET)
http://www.kinshipcircle.org/fact_sheets/DownedOnTheFarmPHOTOS.pdf

* VIDEO: Charged with Cruelty / Slaughterhouse Employees Charged
http://video.hsus.org/index.jsp?fr_story=38247e8c8ea570aca40146c9477f280b28113254

* VIDEO: HSUS Investigates Slaughterhouse/ Cruel and Unhealthy Practices Uncovered
http://video.hsus.org/index.jsp?fr_story=38247e8c8ea570aca40146c9477f280b28113254

* VIDEO: Cheap Meat – Working in a Slaughterhouse
http://tinyurl.com/yul2lw

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http://www.kinshipcircle.org/donation/

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2 Responses to “Kinship Circle: UPDATE: Justice For Downer Cows? Plea Deal Softens Penalty”

  1. Smite Me! [.net] » Blog Archive » Business as usual. Says:

    […] Sigh. Over the years, I’ve posted about countless injustices perpetrated against animals and the earth at easyVegan.info. So few of them make their way over here, because…well, because there are so. fucking. many. of them. Each case is as brutal as the next…routine abuses on factory farms, puppy mills, circuses, etc., etc. etc., all dismissed as “business as usual”; the abandonment of companion animals en masse in the wake of war, natural disasters and the mortgage crisis; seals clubbed to death for their fur, wolves shot from the air to “protect” cattle, “poultry” suffocated in the midst of bird flu scares. It’s fucking endless. Each issue is so fucking heartbreaking that, taken as a whole, a particular story has to be damn near crushing before I feel like posting on it over here, on my non-AR blog. Jax’s murder is such a story. […]

  2. Business as usual. » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info Says:

    […] there are so. fucking. many. of them. Each case is as brutal as the next…routine abuses on factory farms, puppy mills, circuses, etc., etc. etc., all dismissed as “business as usual”; the […]

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