Animals over people: a case study

September 13, 2011 | By PACIFIC LEGAL FOUNDATION

Author:  Damien M. Schiff

One of the perennial problems with the Endangered Species Act is that it oftentimes puts the interests of animals and plants above those of people.  Case in point is a recently dismissed federal felony prosecution of Idaho husband and father Jeremy Hill, who was charged with felony killing of a grizzly bear when he shot a bear that had come into his yard where his children were playing.

Thankfully for Hill, several Idaho politicians got involved and were able to convince the Department of Justice to drop the criminal charge (which could have a carried a one-year jail sentence and a $50,000 fine) in exchange for a $1,000 civil penalty.

But even with this happy resolution, one is still left wondering:  what are the federal government's priorities?  It would seem that prosecuting a family man who shot a bear in his backyard should be well down the list of federal crimes that need to be vindicated.