Sentencing dates set for Kings Bay Plowshares 7

from the Kings Bay Plowshares media team, April 10, 2020

After a six month wait, U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood has set two May dates for sentencing the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 defendants, who were found guilty on October 24, 2019 for their nonviolent symbolic disarmament action at Kings Bay Naval Base in April 2018.

On May 28, Carmen Trotta of St. Joseph Catholic Worker in New York City, Mark Colville of the Amistad Catholic Worker in New Haven, Connecticut, and Clare Grady of the Ithaca Catholic Worker in New York, will be sentenced by the Southern District Federal Court Judge in Brunswick, Georgia.

On May 29, Fr. Steve Kelly, S.J., held for the last two years in Georgia county jails, Martha Hennessy of Mary House Catholic Worker in New York City and granddaughter of Catholic Worker movement co-founder Dorothy Day, Elizabeth (Liz) McAlister of Baltimore’s Jonah House and widow of Phil Berrigan, and Patrick O’Neill of the Fr. Charlie Mulholland Catholic Worker in Garner, North Carolina, will also be sentenced by the same court.

We will inform you of how sentencing may take place in the time of COVID-19 as we hear details from the court. The arrival of the virus has brought delays to the whole process. These dates are all we know at this time. There is a possibility that they may be sentenced by video conferencing with the judge, but as of today, we don’t know. Supporters may not be allowed in the courtroom. The sentencing recommendations call for 15-21 months for Liz (already served 17 mo.); 18-24 months for Martha; 21-27 months for Carmen, Clare, Patrick, and Mark; and 28-48 months for Fr. Steve (already served two years).

Mark Colville, one of the KBP7, asks us to “all step back and consider the absurdity of sentencing people by video conference to federal prison. To tell us it’s too dangerous to be in a court and at the same time to order people to prison during this deadly virus pandemic is inhumane. People are dying in prisons right now. It shows that the prison industrial complex takes a higher priority in the eyes of this government than human life. All prisoners should be set free.”   

There are a number of petitions circulating calling for the release of prisoners in the face of the COVID19 pandemic causing widespread death in all prisons and jails. Here’s one you might support. Faithful America Petition, or join the RAPP Campaign, Release Aging Persons in Prison. 

On March 23, the Tribune & Georgian announced the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Camden County. That same day, the U.S. Navy announced that it had awarded a contract for up to $592.3 million to prepare the Kings Bay Naval Base for new Trident nuclear submarines. The plan to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal is projected to cost as much as $2 trillion. Meanwhile, we are failing to keep people healthy and safe during the COVID-19 crisis. Clearly, our priorities have to change.

This April 4th was the second anniversary of the KBP7 action at the largest U.S. nuclear submarine base in the world, which houses one-quarter of U.S. deployed nuclear weapons. They chose to act on April 4th in 2018 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination to lift up his message to end the evil of the triplets – racism, poverty, and militarism – underlining that the triplets must always be eradicated together.

For previous press releases:

Video of Kings Bay Plowshares Second Anniversary Celebration




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