Update July 24, 2014
Farm to Consumer President Pete Kennedy adds his thoughts: "
The decision upholds the lower court's denial of Vernon Hershberger's right to a fair trial on the holding order charge. Greater numbers of people are losing faith in our judicial system than ever before. The appellate decision does nothing to reverse that trend. The courts have given DATCP a blank check to apply the law as it sees fit. Not asking for an administrative hearing on the hold order never should have meant that Hershberger could not contest the order as part of his defense in a criminal trial."
The jury was misguidedly lead into finding Hershberger guilty on the one count of violating a holding order issued by an agency that had admittedly stated, after the raids, that they did not have jurisdiction; but sure were hell bent on destroying this buyers club and family farm. Yet the jury could see through the rest of the evidence and found Hershberger not guilty on the other three counts.
Unbelievably the state appeals court rejected all of his arguments. Hershberger was fined $1,000 plus court costs.
Wisconsin Department of Justice spokeswoman Dana Brueck heralded the court's ruling.
"This appeal is not a referendum on the desirability of on-the-farm sales of raw milk products," she said. "Rather, it involves the ways in which a defendant may — and may not — challenge a (state) holding order."
Even with the heavily redacted document, which the jurors admit lead to a misdemeanor conviction, Hershberger was found not guilty last year of three other charges alleging he sold retail food, produced milk, and operated a dairy plant without proper state licenses.
The decision made by the judiciary in Wisconsin to not review this matter is indicative of the lack of checks and balances that have been allowed by our governmental agencies, legislative and judiciary.
During the trial there was so much hidden from the jury, including the true intent of the enforcement agencies to create a hostile environment for this defendant, his family, and private buyers club.
No one deserves to go through what Hershberger and his family have experienced," said Sharma-Wilson