SF Fed court Jury finds Keith Alden guilty of cultivationbut not unanimous on count
After about 5 hours deliberation on Friday and 6 hours today, a jury in the Federal District Court in San Francisco found Keith Alden, who is a valid California medical marijuana patient, guilty of cultivation of marijuana and for maintaining a site for cultivation of marijuana. The jury could not come to a unanimous decision on the count of plants. Judge Elliot Hendrickson (spelling?) sat in for Judge Martin J. Jenkins to receive the verdict of the jury. Judge Jenkins will pronounce sentence on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2002 at 2:00 pm at the Federal Building, 19th Floor, Courtroom 11 at 450 Golden Gate Ave. (at Larkin) in San Francisco. Please continue to support Keith.
Keith Alden, a Vietnam Veteran and valid medical marijuana patient and grower pursuant to California state law, The Compassionate Use Act of 1996, has been defending himself against felony charges for cultivation of marijuana in Federal District Court in San Francisco this week. Barry Portman, Federal Public Defender is providing legal counsel. For the charges Keith Alden has been facing a punishment of a mandatory minimum of 20 years to life imprisonment.
Five supporters of Keith Alden were in the courtroom as the jury returned from their three day recess at 9:00 am Tuesday Nov. 12, 2002. Judge Jenkins had the court transcriber read back the testimony of Seth McMullen, DEA Special Agent, regarding his counting of the plants. The jury was then sent to deliberate. Outside at the corner of Golden Gate and Larkin medical marijuana patients protested the arrests of California patients by the DEA with banners and signs. At 3:20 pm the jury returned its verdict: The jury found Keith Alden guilty of felony violation of cultivation and maintaining a site for cultivation of marijuana. The jury could not reach unanimity on the plant count. The jury was dismissed by the stand-in Judge Hendrickson. On Thursday, Judge Jenkins will take the verdict and the uncertain plant count into consideration in the sentencing of Keith Alden.
Ken Norton, observer.