Below is a summary of each pre-sentencing statement delivered by the Transform Now Plowshares (courtesy of Art Laffin of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in Washington, D.C.)
Summary Notes of Michael Walli’s Pre-Sentencing Statement
- Stated that he was offended by the fact that the Nazi regime had a legal right to exist and that either by silence or overt support Catholics consented to it.
- Quoted St. Thomas Aquinas: “Laws that do not serve the common good are unjust.”
- Quoted St. Augustine: “An unjust law is no law at all.”
- Stated that he acted in accordance with Jesus. Jesus’ declaration, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” was a call to action.
- Stated that his actions at Y-12 did not constitute a violation of law, but rather his obedience to God’s law. “I am a citizen of heaven. We engaged in our lawful, missionary work at Y-12. I committed no crime. I have no remorse.”
- Stated that he was acting in support of the rule of law. “I am the face of tomorrow. The face of total demilitarization and vindication of the prophets.”
- In response to a comment made during the hearing by U.S. District Attorney Jeff Theodore, he stated that we both have something in common in admiring Rosa Parks as he commended him for sitting on the same seat of the bus that Rosa Parks was arrested in during a visit he made to Michigan where the bus was on display.
- Read the TNP action indictment.
Summary Notes of Greg Boertje-Obed’s Pre-Sentencing Statement
- Read an excerpt of Dr. King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech re: why he opposed the Vietnam war.
- Read an excerpt from Dan Berrigan’s poem: “Hymn To A New Humanity.”
- Stated that people around the world see that the U.S. is breaking the law. Three new Bomb plants are being built, including at Oak Ridge, which will maintain nuclear weapons for over 80 years. If the U.S. were to abide by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it “would promote respect for the law.”
Summary Notes of Sr. Megan Rice’s Pre-Sentencing Statement
- One of the great problems is that people don’t know the 70 year history of nuclear weapons and the secrecy that surrounds nuclear policy. Encouraged the Judge and everyone in court to read the book Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats by Kristen Iversen.
- Spoke of how every single day and all of life is a miracle and how the Bomb is a threat to that miracle.
- Referred to the book A Beautiful Mind and how many of the best minds today agree that there is an alternative to nuclear weapons.
- Spoke of a “cloud of deception” surrounding the economic extortion going on at Y-12 and that this was never mentioned at the first sentencing hearing regarding the restitution the TNP were ordered to pay.
- Acknowledged the support the TNP have received from all over the world and showed the court a signed card from the Afghan Youth Volunteers that was recently sent to her by Kathy Kelly.
- Appealed to the judge not to show leniency toward her and that it would be an honor to spend the rest of her life in prison.
- Spoke of the injustice she has witnessed first-hand in the for-profit detention complex and the dehumanizing jail conditions.
- Spoke of the connections between the rich controlling the wealth and resources at the expense of the poor and how the military budget constitutes a theft from the poor.
- Cited an Appellate Court’s overturning the conviction of the Plowshares Eight and Appellate Judge Spaeth’s opinion regarding the catastrophic danger posed by nuclear weapons.
- Referred to German Judge Ulf Panzer who was arrested for opposing the deployment of Pershing II nuclear missiles at the U.S. air base in Mutlangen in 1987 and lawyers and jurists worldwide who declared nuclear weapons to be illegal.
- Judge granted her request to sing the song “Sacred the Land.” All present in the main courtroom and the overflow courtroom joined in singing the song.