They've done enough time! We've all done more than enough time living under the terror of nuclear weapons!
On February 16th, U.S. District Judge Amul R. Thapar in Knoxville, Tenn. sentenced 84-year-old Rice, a Catholic nun, to 35 months in prison and three years probation. Rice is a sister in the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. She became a nun when she was 18 and served for 40 years as a missionary in western Africa teaching science. Sentenced along with her was 58-year-old Greg Boertje-Obed, an Army veteran who lived at a Catholic Worker House in Minnesota, and Michael Walli, a 64-year-old two-tour Vietnam veteran who lived at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker house in Washington DC. Both received five years in prison and three years probation as well.
The Transform Now Plowshares activists were convicted on May 8, 2013 on felony charges of sabotage and damaging federal property at the Y‑12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
The activists did “a symbolic act to bring attention to America’s stockpile of nuclear weapons, which they view as both immoral and illegal …”
They could have gotten up to thirty years.
A sentence of time served would have been fair.
Nobody can honesty argue that the three non-violent, Christian peace and anti-nuclear activists represent a danger or a terrorist threat to the nation.
Every step along the way the government played this case with a heavy hand.
In five months the non-violent activists went from “misdemeanor trespassers to multiple felony saboteurs.” That’s how the government arrived at a 30-year possible sentence for a peaceful nonviolent protest.
Simply put, the government gave the activists 9 months in jail (pending sentencing), and now 3 more years for Rice and 5 more for Boertje-Obed and Walli, for embarrassing the government.
Rice, Boertje-Obed and Walli are people of peace. Neither piling on charges nor the resulting sentence fit the deed. It seem that overcharging in hopes of a plea bargain has now replaced justice for a lot of prosecutors these days.
It’s not surprising that the government thinks that by being heavy-handed it will discourage others from protesting it, but that remains to be seen.
President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Holder ought to stop overly punishing these folks..
Pardon Sister Megan Rice, Gregory Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli!
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