Liz McAlister Denied Release On Her Own Recognizance – August 15, 2019

Elizabeth McAlister, through her attorney Bill Quigley, applied for release on her own recognizance on Monday August 12, 2019, the Monday after the court hearing.  The motion pointed out that Ms. McAlister, who will be 80 in November, has been jailed for 18 months and has been a model prisoner.  The motion said Ms. McAlister asked that she be released without the restrictions of curfew and ankle monitor since, if released, she would spend her time in three different states – Massachusetts, Connecticut and Wisconsin.  Ms. McAlister promised to stay away from military installations, report in as directed, and return to court.

The government immediately filed an objection on August 13, 2019, which said the Magistrate conducted a bond hearing in the Spring of last year and imposed certain conditions based on “extensive criminal history” of Ms McAlister and the danger to the community that civil disobedience posed.  The government quoted the Magistrate who concluded that the court could not “overestimate the danger” that was posed by the alleged acts in this case.  The government concluded that nothing had changed since that hearing so the bond conditions should not change either.  Quigley then pointed out, in a response dated August 14, 2019, that this case has taken much longer than usual and Ms. McAlister has possibly spent more time in jail than she might be sentenced to serve if she was convicted.

On August 15, 2019, the court ruled that Ms. McAlister no longer had to put up a $50,000 bond, which could have been paid by a $5000 cash bond.  The bond amount would be reduced to $5,000, which could be satisfied by a $500 cash bond. The court ruled that “all other conditions set out in the original order setting conditions of release remain in full force and effect.”  Thus release is only possible if Ms. McAlister submitted to electronic ankle monitoring, curfew and the rest.  Ms. McAlister advised Quigley that she cannot abide by those conditions and remains in jail.