Tuesday, February 18, 2014: Michael Walli, Megan Rice and Greg Boertje-Obed will appear in federal court in Knoxville, Tennessee to be sentenced by Judge Amul Thapar for their July 28, 2012 Transform Now Plowshares action. Convicted in May 2013 by a jury of charges including depredation of property and sabotage, the three were scheduled to be sentenced on January 28, but the hearing was interrupted by snow; the courthouse was closed, and the sentencing date was moved to February 18.
According to federal sentencing guidelines, which take into account previous records and the nature of the offense in determining a “sentencing range” to serve as a guideline for the sentencing judge, the sentenced recommend for each of the three is different. Megan Rice is likely to face a sentencing range in excess of five years; Greg Boertje-Obed a sentence exceeding six and a half years; Michael Walli faces a sentencing range that begins at eight years.
More than sixteen thousand cards, letters and petition signatures have been delivered to the Judge urging a downward departure in recognition of the nonviolent nature of the defendants and their argument (inadmissible at trial) that their action conforms to US obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the responsibilities places on citizens by the Nuremberg code. The Transform Now Plowshares action was carried out at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge where the United States continues to produce core components for thermonuclear weapons and plans to build a new $19 billion bomb plant, called the Uranium Processing Facility.
Sentencing will take place in federal court in Knoxville, located between Cumberland Avenue and Main Street in downtown Knoxville and the south end of Market Street. Seating may be limited; those wishing to attend sentencing must have a picture ID to enter the courthouse.
The sentencing hearing will begin at 9:00am.
If you are traveling to Knoxville by bus or air, OREPA will be happy to assist with transportation and housing. Let us know by email <email@example.com> or phone 865 776 5050.