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 »
PROCEDURES NOT FOLLOWED
Trump Not on Ballot in Minnesota
3 days ago
THE LATEST
MOB RULE?
Trump on Immigration: ‘I Don’t Know, You Tell Me’
3 days ago
THE LATEST

Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”

Source:
BIG CHANGE FROM WHEN HE SELF-FINANCED
Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
5 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Source:
QUESTIONS OVER IMMIGRATION POLICY
Trump Cancels Rallies
5 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.

Source:
‘STRATEGY AND MESSAGING’
Sean Hannity Is Also Advising Trump
6 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”

Source:
×