Student Who Won't Out Animal-Rights Activists Accused of Terrorism Conspiracy
A 22-year-old sociology student was accused of "conspiring to commit animal enterprise terrorism" after he refused to out the radical animal-rights activists he was studying. (He also studies other kinds of radical environmentalists.)Scott deMuth pleaded not guilty and was released at the end of November, but still had to face a grand jury and answer questions about what he knows about a 2004 attack on an animal studies laboratory, and his involvement thereof.These's an interesting think piece about it here, where the author posits that part of what makes this case complicated is the fact that many of the crimes committed by the people deMuth studies is against other academics. (The ALF seems to love claiming responsibility for firebombing university labs-not to mention professors' houses and cars-and freeing their furry prisoners. Academics, meanwhile, might not love the idea of young students witnessing crimes against them in the name of research, and not doing anything about it.)This raises all kinds of barroom-ready questions. Should students studying illegal behavior be accused of conspiracy, or aiding and abetting crimes they witness? Should confidentiality in academic research be considered as sacred as it is in journalism? Discuss.