Nun Sentenced To Prison For Nuclear Weapons Protest
Ellisha Rader Mannering
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An 84-year-old Catholic nun named Megan Rice has been sentenced to almost 3 years behind bars for breaking into a U.S. nuclear weapons complex to protest nuclear weapons. Rice and three other people broke into the facility together in order to stage a protest. The other two people, Michael Walli, 64, and Greg Boertje-Obed, 58, were sentenced to 5 years in prison.
The fact that they were able to break in so easily has led many to wonder about the security of the facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and other Nuclear facilities around the country. The three protestors were charged with sabotage in May 2013.
According to reports, the protestors were able to cut through a security fence and sneak by three other levels of security within the facility. Once inside, they felt no need to hurry and were able to hang up banners and vandalize the buildings, before they were caught by a security officer. Once caught, the protestors offered a snack to the security guard and began singing to him.
The security breach has caused the authorities and facility workers to wonder what could have happened if someone with worse intentions would have been able to break into the facility as easily as the protestors, and had as much time to wreak havoc.
Although Rice is much older than the other two protestors, her age was not a factor in determining how much jail time she was given. The judge sentenced her to less time because her criminal record was much cleaner.
“(Rice) does not have the extensive criminal records the others have. Her crimes are minimal in comparison to the others,” U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar said.
Rice will be 87 years old before she is released from prison. Do you think her sentence was fair or do you think she should not have been given a jail sentence?