Nun, 83, faces ‘life’ sentence in US after nuclear protest

An 83-year-old Catholic nun, imprisoned since her arrest in May, today faces what would effectively be a ‘life sentence’ over the breaking into and sabotaging of a nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in the US.

Sr Megan Rice is one of three Catholic peace activists who face sentencing today over in the incident at the primary US storehouse for bomb-grade uranium. Sentencing for all three is scheduled for 9am today at US District Court in Knoxville.

The US Government has recommended sentences of about six to nine years each for Sr Megan, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, but there is no minimum sentence for what they are accused of. The government also is seeking compensation of nearly $53,000 (£32,230) for damages suffered from when the three activists cut through fences and painted slogans on the outside wall of the uranium processing plant. The protesters also splattered blood and hammered on the wall. Sr Megan, who turns 84 this Thursday, and her co-defendants are asking for leniency but are prepared for the worst.


There are consequences for one’s actions. She shouldn’t be treated differently simply because she is old or because she is a nun.



Sabotage = Pounding on a wall and graffiti? Or are they referring to the cut fence?

I have to question the value assigned to the damage done here, at least according to the article. Value the damage appropriately, impose restitution, 90 days in jail and then conduct a security review of the facility. If an elderly nun can break in and get that kind of access, imagine what a dozen athletic jihadis could do! Sounds to me like these guys shined a light on a critically bad security setup!

While what you say about the actual value of the damages and the exposing of a possible security lapse are true, sentences are also supposed to have a deterrant effect. She broke the law and damaged government property. There is a price.

Indeed! That was my first thought. If their security is such that an elderly nun could break in and vandalize things, they have much bigger issues than cleaning up some graffiti!

We are supposed to follow the law of the land.

I agree, Orogeny.

From another article.

The trio spent two hours inside the complex, which has had a hand in making, maintaining or dismantling parts of every nuclear weapon in the country’s arsenal. They cut through security fences, hung banners, strung crime-scene tape and hammered off a small chunk of the fortress-like Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, or HEUMF, inside the most secure part of complex.

Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, who testified on their own behalf during their federal trial, said **they have no remorse for their actions **and were pleased to reach one of the most secure parts of the facility.

Maybe next time the nun will think twice before breaking into anything. She’s a *nun *for crying out loud.

Edited to add:

This is from the same article. :eek:

Boertje-Obed explained why they sprayed baby bottles full of human blood on the exterior of the facility.

“The reason for the baby bottles was to represent that the blood of children is spilled by these weapons,” he said.

Sure. But I still wouldn’t want to be the judge passing a prison sentence on an elderly nun. :stuck_out_tongue: :o

Yes, so treat her the same way the law treats punks who graffiti and vandalize government property. I’ve yet to hear of any of them getting a life sentence (or even 3 years). 90 days and restitution is about right for the actual crime.

I have no problem with peaceful protests…and have participated in many.

However, the spattering blood and hammering on private property…that is just wrong. Those who do these things know what the repercussions will be, and continue in order to draw attention to their cause. I’m sure the hope is also that their will be leniency in sentencing.

There is a lawful way to protest, and it’s my belief that’s what should be done. You choose the other route…best have really strong convictions, to take the penalty.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

2314 “Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation.”110 A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons—especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons—to commit such crimes.
2315 The accumulation of arms strikes many as a paradoxically suitable way of deterring potential adversaries from war. They see it as the most effective means of ensuring peace among nations. This method of deterrence gives rise to strong moral reservations. The arms race does not ensure peace. Far from eliminating the causes of war, it risks aggravating them. Spending enormous sums to produce ever new types of weapons impedes efforts to aid needy populations;111 it thwarts the development of peoples. Over-armament multiplies reasons for conflict and increases the danger of escalation.
2316 The production and the sale of arms affect the common good of nations and of the international community. Hence public authorities have the right and duty to regulate them. The short-term pursuit of private or collective interests cannot legitimate undertakings that promote violence and conflict among nations and compromise the international juridical order. (1906)
2317 Injustice, excessive economic or social inequalities, envy, distrust, and pride raging among men and nations constantly threaten peace and cause wars. Everything done to overcome these disorders contributes to building up peace and avoiding war: (1938, 2538, 1941)
Insofar as men are sinners, the threat of war hangs over them and will so continue until Christ comes again; but insofar as they can vanquish sin by coming together in charity, violence itself will be vanquished and these words will be fulfilled: “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”1122242 The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community. “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”48 “We must obey God rather than men”

An “elderly nun” who thinks it is perfectly okay to break into a secure uranium processing plant and spray human blood around.

I am betting that is why it cost so much to clean up. Human blood isn’t something you just wipe up with a bucket of water. And if they sprayed it rather than threw it, it would be everywhere. Yuck.

And she has no remorse.

and why should she ?

The reason for the baby bottles was to represent that the blood of children is spilled by these weapons," he said.

Conveniently overlooking the fact that atomic weapons ended one major war and probably prevented at least one more.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending what she did. I’m opposed to such theatrics and destruction of property. But it would still make me squeamish sentencing a nun to prison. I guess that’s why I’m not a judge, though. :stuck_out_tongue:

which conveniently overlooks the fact of thousands of children and babies killed in nagasaki and hiroshima Catechism of the Catholic Church

2314 “Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation.”

Because what she did was to break into and vandalized a place that was not only illegal but cannot be justified even though you tried with quoting the catechism as if it was condoning what she did.

2308 All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war.
However, "as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power,** governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense**, once all peace efforts have failed."105

She broke the law and she should pay the consequences.

Which conveniently overlooks that the fact those children were training to kill US Marines and that we dropped leaflets warning about the upcoming bombing.

they were training babies to kill marines :eek:

She could have simply held a protest sign at the site or at a government building. There was no reason to illegally enter the site.

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