Nuclear Plant Protesters Denied Request for New Trial

Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Oct. 4, 2013, 9:02 a.m.

A U.S. fed­er­al judge this week turned down a re­quest to al­low a new tri­al for three peace act­iv­ists that were ar­res­ted in 2012 for sneak­ing in­to a se­cured area of the Y-12 nuc­le­ar weapons fa­cil­ity in Ten­ness­ee, the Knoxville News-Sen­tinel re­por­ted on Thursday.

Megan Rice, an 83-year-old Cath­ol­ic nun, along with fel­low Trans­form Now Plow­shares mem­bers Greg Bo­er­tje-Obed, 56, and Mi­chael Walli, 64, were found guilty in May on two felony charges of in­ter­fer­ing with na­tion­al se­cur­ity and dam­aging gov­ern­ment prop­erty through their Ju­ly 2012 break-in at the Y-12 Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Com­plex. The aging pro­test­ers cut through a num­ber of fences in or­der to reach the ex­ter­i­or of the site’s highly en­riched urani­um store­house, which they pro­ceeded to dec­or­ate with peace ad­vocacy signs. They also dumped a buck­et of blood onto the scene be­fore they were ar­res­ted.

Dis­trict Judge Amul Thapar in his rul­ing, re­leased on Tues­day, dis­agreed with the de­fense’s ar­gu­ment the act­iv­ists did not plan to cause harm to na­tion­al de­fense, say­ing their court testi­mony and phone con­ver­sa­tions while in jail sug­ges­ted they wanted to un­der­mine the Y-12 com­plex’s ca­pa­city to man­u­fac­ture and stock­pile war­head parts.

“The de­fend­ants are en­titled to their views re­gard­ing the mor­al­ity of nuc­le­ar weapons,” Thapar wrote. “But the de­fend­ants’ sin­cerely held mor­al be­liefs are not a get-out-of-jail-free card that they can de­ploy to es­cape crim­in­al li­ab­il­ity.”

The judge also re­fused a sep­ar­ate mo­tion to ac­quit the act­iv­ists.

The three pro­test­ers are presently in jail in south­ern Geor­gia. Sen­ten­cing hear­ings have been planned for late Janu­ary. The charges carry pen­al­ties of a max­im­um of 30 years be­hind bars.

The break-in in­cid­ent was a huge em­bar­rass­ment to the con­tract­ors that op­er­ate and guard the Ten­ness­ee site and to the En­ergy De­part­ment’s Na­tion­al Nuc­le­ar Se­cur­ity Ad­min­is­tra­tion, which man­ages the U.S. nuc­le­ar-weapons com­plex. Mem­bers of Con­gress have sug­ges­ted dif­fer­ent ac­tions for im­prov­ing the agency’s abil­ity to mon­it­or U.S. weapon fa­cil­it­ies.

What We're Following See More »
BACKING OUT ON BERNIE
Trump Won’t Debate Sanders After All
1 days ago
THE LATEST

Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”

AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.

Source:
AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

Source:
TRUMP FLOATED IDEA ON JIMMY KIMMEL’S SHOW
Trump/Sanders Debate Before California Primary?
2 days ago
THE LATEST
CAMPAIGNS INJECTED NEW AD MONEY
California: It’s Not Over Yet
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.

Source:
×