Anti-Nuclear Activists Sister Megan Rice,83, and Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli Released From Prison
We followed the sentencing and imprisonment of sister Megan Rice, 83, and Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli earlier in this blog. Now we are happy to say that they have just been released from prison! Thanks be to God, to Bill Quigley and all good lawyers and the support from the public and the dedicated peacemakers! These three courageous souls have won an important fight and brought the horrors of nuclear armament out in the open.
Here is the BBC article and the TNowPlowshares Blog article
US court orders release of three anti-nuclear activists
A US federal appeals court has ordered the immediate release of three anti-nuclear activists, including an elderly Catholic nun, the group’s lawyer says.
Attorney Bill Quigley says he hopes they will be released within days.
Last week, sabotage convictions against Sister Megan Rice, 85, Michael Walli, 66, and Greg Boertje-Obed, 59, for breaking into a Tennessee nuclear facility in 2012 were overturned.
But it upheld guilty verdicts for damaging government property.
From Transform Now Plowshares Blog
In an amazing turn of events, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals this evening ordered the immediate release of Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, the Transform Now Plowshares activists who were serving time in federal prison for their action at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, TN to protest plans for a new multibillion dollar nuclear bomb plant there.
Things unfolded rapidly this afternoon.
At 4:00pm word came from Bill Quigley, attorney for MGM, that the government had filed a notice that it would not oppose the release of Greg, Michael and Megan pending resentencing. The government’s notice was interesting—it included notice to the court that, when resentencing did happen, the government would not be seeking terms of imprisonment greater than the time already served. But, the prosecutor said, the court could not release the defendants unless it determined their were “extraordinary circumstances.” The government’s brief went on to note the issues cited by the defendants did not constitute ordinary circumstances. There was a way, though, the government pointed out, under a different statute, and then noted that another court had ruled keeping a defendant unjustly incarcerated beyond the time they would be expected to serve would be an extraordinary circumstance. “We defer to the Sixth Circuit” said the government.
Then, just after 7:00pm this evening, the Sixth Circuit ordered the immediate release of Megan, Greg and Michael on their own recognizance. The order is not available at this time, but the word from Quigley is reliable. In a delightful serendipity, Monday is Greg Boertje-Obed’s birthday—with any luck, he will be home to celebrate it with his family!