Eric was arrested (along with Zachary Jenson and Lauren Weiner) on January 13, 2006, as part of the government's ongoing Green Scare campaign. All three were charged with “Conspiracy to damage and destroy property by fire and an explosive.” His arrest was the direct result of a government informant – known only as “Anna” - who spent a year and a half drawing him in and working with the FBI to fabricate a crime and implicate Eric in it. Anna was paid over $65,000 for her work with the FBI. Eric was imprisoned for what amounts to thought-crime – no actions were ever carried out, and Eric was charged with a single count of “conspiracy” - a powerful legal tool often used by the state to crush dissent.
Eric was denied bail twice – despite having no prior criminal record and no history of violence – and spent almost 2 years pre-trial in Sacramento County Main Jail in “Total Separation” - or solitary confinement. This meant that he had little to no contact with other prisoners or the outside world and was only allowed to leave his cell for a few hours each week. During that time he endured two separate hunger strikes to gain access to vegan food. He also endured two separate bouts of pericarditis – a heart condition which Eric had never experienced before his time at Sac County. Both of Eric's co-defendants caved under the threat of being imprisoned for 20 years and plead guilty to a lesser charge. In doing so, they agreed to testify against Eric and cooperate in every way possible, including testifying in front of secret grand jury proceedings.
Eric's case is a clear-cut example of entrapment, and he fought the charges against him on those grounds at trial in September of 2007. After a trial riddled with errors, lies and blunders on the part of the government, a jury found Eric guilty. Many of those same jurors later made damning statements about the FBI's handling of the case, and two of them submitted declarations to the court stating that they believed Eric deserved a new trial. None of this can change the fact that Eric has been convicted of a crime that was never committed. In May of 2008 Eric was sentenced to an outrageous 19 years and 7 months in prison. At the time, it was the longest standing sentence of any environmental prisoner in the US. Unfortunately, Eric's case and sentencing seem to have set a precedent for such injustice, and others have since been sentenced to similarly outrageous time in prison. Eric is currently appealing his conviction and sentencing.
Eric is currently imprisoned at FCI Terminal Island, CA.
Past Media Articles and Interviews:
Sacramento News Review: Conspiracy of Dunces
Tazz and Paula Show: Audio Interview with Eric McDavid's Attorney (RealPlayer needed)
More Background Info:
For reports for Eric's trial, click here
For past support updates, click here
To read a statement by Eric's Mother, Eileen McDavid, click here
To read the criminal complaint against Eric McDavid, click here
To read a poem written by Eric while imprisoned, click here
To read a medical doctor's declaration about Eric's Pericarditis, click here