Letter to Judge Thapar asking for leniency for the Oakridge 3
Sarah Hogarth signed a letter dated January 9 2014 asking for leniency for the "Oakridge 3":
- January 9, 2014
- The Honorable Amul R. Thapar United States District Judge 800 Market Street, Suite 130 Knoxville, TN 37902
- Dear Judge Thapur: The Defending Dissent Foundation is a 53 year old civil liberties organization that recognizes the value of dissent in a vibrant democracy. As such, we regard the actions of Sister Megan Rice, Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli on July 28, 2012 as nonviolent civil disobedience in the finest American tradition. Therefore, we respectfully request that you exercise your right to judicial discretion in sentencing these three individuals. The Defending Dissent Foundation takes no position on nuclear weapons facilities or the content of the protest, but it is clear that the three sought to call attention to an issue of national importance and, through symbolic action, voice their concern and opposition. Their goal never was to harm anyone, and no one was harmed. The fact that the three were able to find their way into the facility and reach the uranium storage unit reflects the abysmal security system of the facility. These activists should not be held liable for the closure of the plant for two weeks to address security lapses. It should not be a factor in their sentencing. Non-violent civil resistance and civil disobedience have long played an important role in our democracy, bringing important issues to the public sphere and advancing our society toward justice, freedom and peace. Like others who have undertaken such action, Sister Megan Rice, Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli are willing to serve time in jail, which they have done without complaint. However, to sentence the three to terms of up to twelve years would be an injustice. In your October 1, 2013 Memorandum Opinion and Order you wrote, “Of course, the defendants’ non-violence will be relevant at sentencing, since the Court must account for both the “nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics” of the defendants… Given the obvious differences between the defendants and the paradigmatic saboteur, those factors surely will be worthy of discussion”. We applaud your wisdom and insight and strongly encourage you to sentence the three with downward departures from the sentencing guidelines.
National Committee Against Repressive Legislation
- https://www.scribd.com/document/197919376/Transform-Now-Plowshares-Sentencing-letter Kate Martin accessed December 10 2019
- Dissent website: About