Monthly Archive for September, 2011

Boertje-Obed and Garbison refuse fines & community service; jailed one week for Kansas City nuclear weapons factory protest

Art Laffin (Dorothy Day Catholic Worker Community, Washington, DC) writes from Kansas City:

Dear Friends,

It was a long fruitful day of truth-telling in Kansas City Municipal Court for 27 peacemakers, mostly Catholic Workers, arrested last May 2nd at the site of the new Kansas City nuclear weapons plant. Those arrested were part of a larger nonviolent witness, including 26 others who were also arrested, calling for the transformation of the Bomb parts plant currently being constructed.

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Dennis DuVall gets one month in jail for Y-12 trespass

Dennis DuVall under arrest at Y-12, July 5, 2010. photo by jpKERNODLE

Y12 Resisters’ Sentencing • Day 7, Dennis DuVall

Report by Ralph  Hutchison, Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance

Upon first meeting Dennis DuVall, with his Arizona tan, square jaw, bright eyes, and tall white cowboy hat, you can’t help but think “Marlboro Man.” Then you talk with Dennis and listen to the depth of his commitment, his bright wit, his thoughtful response in almost any circumstance, and you realize there is a lot going on under that hat.

That was never more apparent than this morning, in federal court in Knoxville, when Dennis stood before the judge. The hearing was a little a-kilter, because Dennis’s attorney, Robert Kurtz, had challenged his pre-sentencing report and it’s assignment of category points. Eventually the judge would recess to consider and then deny the motion, but the effect at the beginning of the hearing was the judge completely skipped the prosecution’s recommendation on Dennis’s sentence.

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Y-12 resister Beth Rosdatter sentenced to one month; taken into custody

Beth Rosdatter witnesses against nuclear weapons at Y-12, July 5, 2010. photo by jpKERNODLE

Y12 Resisters’ Sentencing • Day Six, Part 2: Beth Rosdatter

Report from Ralph Hutchison, OREPA

To fully appreciate Beth Rosdatter’s sentencing hearing, one would have to have been present during the trial in May. Before the trial, Judge Bruce Guyton ruled a few things out of bounds—any discussion of nuclear policy, nuclear weapons, faith, motivation, good intent, and, mostly, anything that might evoke sympathy or understanding on the part of a juror. He was granting a prosecution request at the time, and the problem he ran into early on, with the first witness, was the prosecution asking about nuclear policy.

It wasn’t until later in the trial, when Beth took the stand, that the prosecutor asked her a direct question about her motive. She hesitated, then looked at the judge and said, “I think she just asked me a question you don’t want me to answer.” This precipitated a sidebar conversation with the lawyers, at the end of which the judge admonished all parties to be mindful of his ruling.

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Sr. Mary Dennis Lentsch sentenced to time served for Y-12 action

Sr. Mary Dennis Lentsch at Y-12, July 5, 2010. photo by jpKERNODLE

Y12 RESISTERS SENTENCING REPORT • Day 6, Part 1, Mary Dennis Lentsch

From Ralph Hutchison, OREPA

Mary Dennis Lentsch appeared this morning before judge Bruce Guyton in federal court in Knoxville, Tennessee to be sentenced for her nonviolent civil resistance at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in July of 2010. The courtroom was full of supporters as Mary Dennis was brought in in shackles; she has been in custody since mid-June in Ocilla, Georgia.

The Assistant District Attorney, Melissa Kirby, set the tone, telling the judge that Mary Dennis was “a little different” from the others who have been sentenced over the past ten days. “Her offenses are almost exclusively at this facility, at Y12,” she said; she’s had seven convictions at Y12, including a prior federal arrest in 2002. At that time she was sentenced to two months in a halfway house [served instead in federal prison] and one year of supervised release. It did not appear to serve a deterrent effect as she continues to go to Y12 to commit these offenses.”

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Brad Lyttle sentenced to 1 month house arrest & 1 year probation for Y-12 disarmament action

Brad Lyttle under arrest, July 5, 2010, photo by jpKERNODLE

Report from Ralph Hutchison with the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance

If Brad and the judge were going to have a difference of opinion, it wasn’t going to be over Brad’s lack of courtesy. “Mr. Lyttle, can you hear me?” Judge Bruce Guyton asked, as he does of every defendant at the beginning of proceedings. “I certainly can, your honor,” replied Brad cheerfully. And then he thanked the judge for releasing his passport allowing him to travel to Afghanistan and Canada while he was on supervised release, for being kind and open-minded, for assigning the public defender to assist him in his self-representation. Then turning to the Assistant District Attorney, Melissa Kirby, he offered his congratulations on her marriage.

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Another activist, Steve Baggarly, receives 8 month prison sentence for Y-12 disarmament action

Steve Baggarly under arrest, July 5, 2010. Photo by jpKERNODLE

Y-12 Resisters’ Sentencing Report

(from Ralph Hutchison, OREPA)

DAY FIVE, PART I • 19 September 2011, Steve Baggarly

The purpose of the hearing was to sentence Steve Baggarly for his July 2010 trespass at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex, but when the Judge turned to ask Steve if he had anything to say, Steve delivered a message that was part indictment of the bomb plant and part map of the path to hope.

He began with the simple fact that Y12 enriched the uranium for the Little Boy bomb and produced the thermonuclear secondary for every nuclear weapon in the US arsenal. He illustrated the true nature of the bomb with a recollection of the story of a Hiroshima survivor, Kozu Itagaki, who reported: “Victims of the blast seemed like ghosts, without a vestige of clothing, their sex unclear, tottering toward the park, their skin hanging down like potato skins. They climbed toward the top of the hill, supposing they would find relief, but the next morning they were found dead at the top of the hill.”

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Michael Walli receives 8 month sentence for nonviolent action at Y-12

Y12  Resisters’ Sentencing Report

[From Ralph Hutchison, OREPA]

DAY FOUR • September 19, Mike Walli

Mike Walli under arrest, July 5, 2010. Photo by jpKERNODLE

Mike Walli at Y-12 – July 2010

Mike Walli appeared in federal court in Knoxville on Monday, September 19, 2011 to face sentencing for his May 2011 conviction on charges of trespass at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, TN in July 2010. Mike has been in custody, held mostly in Ocilla, GA, since the trial in May.

The procedure began with Judge Bruce Guyton asking Mike if he could hear him. Mike did not answer, but his attorney, Chris Irwin, spoke up to say that Mike had chosen to remain silent before the court, but he (Chris) having just spent an hour in conversation with Mike, was certain Mike could hear and understand.

After formalities—have both sides read the sentencing memorandum?—Chris Irwin began by asking the court for a moment of silence for Jackie Hudson. The judge granted the request, and silence was observed.

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Two Dominican sisters receive time served for Y-12 protest

Sr. Carol Gilbert helps her Domincan Sister Ardeth Platte through the barbed wire at Y-12. Photo by Tom Bottolene.

DAY THREE • 16 September 2011 • Part I, Carol Gilbert

Carol Gilbert, arrested at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in OakRidge, Tennessee in July 2010 and convicted in May 2011 on a misdemeanor trespass charge, appeared before Judge Bruce Guyton for sentencing on Friday, September 16, 2011. Carol’s pre-sentencing investigation determined her sentencing range—points for prior offenses, added to points for the current offense—at 1-7 months.

Assistant District Attorney Melissa Kirby announced the government had no objections to the pre-sentencing report and sought a “just and fair sentence,” noting Carol had already served four months.

In her elocution, delivered just before the judge handed down his sentence, Carol said, “We do not choose jail. We do choose nonviolent direct action. We do choose to try to uphold Article 6 of the United States Constitution which was not allowed in this courtroom. We do choose life over death. But we do not choose jail.”

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Anti-nuclear activist Bonnie Urfer sentenced to 8 months for misdemeanor trespass at Y-12

Bonnie Urfer handcuffed at Y-12, July 5, 2010

Nukewatch press release

September 14, 2011

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee – Bonnie Urfer, 59, of Luck, Wisconsin, a long-time staff member of the nonprofit nuclear watchdog group Nukewatch, was sentenced by the federal court here today to a total of eight months incarceration. Urfer has been in jail since May 11 and will now serve another four months.

Presiding Magistrate Judge Bruce Guyton had Urfer incarcerated May 11, 2011, immediately following a jury trial involving 12 activists, all of whom were convicted of trespass for a sit-down protest that took place July 5, 2010 at the Y12 nuclear weapons complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

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What Bonnie Urfer will say in court today

Published on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 by  

Anti-Nuclear Activist, Bonnie Urfer, Fights Crime in Sentencing Statement

Bonnie Urfer, 59, of Luck, Wis., is being sentenced in federal court in Knoxville, Tenn., today, even though she’s been in federal custody ever since her May 11 trespassing conviction. A long-time nuclear weapons resister and nonviolence trainer, she’s spent most of the last four months in a private, for-profit jail in southeast Georgia.
After working for Nukewatch for 25 years, Bonnie’s learned something about nuclear weapons and she’s done more than four years in jail for peacefully resisting them. She joined 12 others in walking onto the property of the Y12 nuclear weapons fabrication complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., in 2010. Convicted of the federal misdemeanor with the others, she could get a year in prison.

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