leroymoore

Appeals Court Overturns Sabotage Conviction of Transform Now Plowshares Activists Arrested at Oak Ridge in 2012

In Democracy, Human rights, Justice, Nuclear Guardianship, Nuclear Policy, Peace on May 9, 2015 at 3:15 am

Appeals court overturns sabotage convictions of Transform Now Plowshares activists, vacates sentences of Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Gregory Boertje-Obed on all charges and remands for resentencing.

 

Court suggests decision may lead to release of Rice, Boertje-Obed and Walli

8 May 2015

for immediate release

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a decision in favor of the Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed who were convicted in 2013 of sabotage for their July 28, 2012 Transform Now Plowshares protest of nuclear weapons production at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

“The purpose of the action of Michael, Megan and Greg was to call attention to the ongoing production of thermonuclear weapons components at the bomb plant in Oak Ridge and, more specifically, to oppose plans to build a new, multi-billion dollar bomb plant—the Uranium Processing Facility—at Y12,” said Ralph Hutchison, coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance. “They were nonviolent protestors in the tradition of Gandhi, not saboteurs. We are pleased the Sixth Circuit appreciated the difference.”

The court ruled 2-1 in a decision handed down on May 8, 2015, that the government failed to prove the Transform Now Plowshares activists intended to “injure the national defense,” a requirement for conviction under the sabotage act.  Disposing of the government’ arguments one by one, the court finally states simply: “The defendants’ convictions under §2155(a) must be reversed.”

The circuit court had the option of merely reversing the sabotage conviction but letting the defendants’ sentences stand on the other charge for which they were convicted—depredation of government property. Noting the lesser charge would have resulted in lesser sentences—the men received 62 month sentences and Megan Rice a sentence of 35 months—under federal sentencing guidelines (“it appears that the guidelines ranges for their § 1361 convictions on remand will be substantially less than their time already served in federal custody.“), the court chose to vacate all sentences and remand the their cases for resentencing on the remaining depredation count.

Michael Walli is currently serving his sentence at McKean federal prison in Bradford, PA; Greg Boertje-Obed is in Leavenworth, KS; Megan Rice is in federal prison in Brooklyn, NY. Her release date is currently in mid-November, 2015.

At this time, it is not clear when resentencing will take place.

for more information

Ralph Hutchison  865 776 5050

Paul Magno 202 321 6650

Sign petition: No ‘prescribed burns’ at Rocky Flats ever

In Democracy, Environment, Human rights, Nuclear Guardianship, Rocky Flats, Wildlife Refuge on April 21, 2015 at 10:15 pm

Last fall when I learned that US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) planned a “prescribed burn” of 701 acres at the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge I posted a MoveOn petition calling for them to cancel the burn. Opposition to the planned burn grew rapidly. 2,870 people signed the petition. On January 29, 2015, FWS canceled the burn. BUT, they said, this was only a postponement. They intend to do more burns at the Refuge in the future.

On learning this I posted a second petition. All who sign it are telling FWS:  “No ‘prescribed burns’ at Rocky Flats ever.” To sign, go to http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/no-prescribed-burns-at

Thanks for signing. Please urge others to sign also. This petition is even more important than the last one.

Pope favors abolition of nuclear weapons

In Environment, Human rights, Nuclear Policy, Peace on April 12, 2015 at 2:21 am

For a detailed article on what Pope Francis is doing to get nuclear weapons abolished, see http://time.com/3817021/pope-francis-nuclear-disarmament/

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 383 other followers