Community Service for the LANL 6

LANL 6 defendants Janet Green and Pamela Gilchrist with attorney Jeff Hass. Photo by Eric Shultz
LANL 6 defendants Janet Greenwald and Pamela Gilchrist with attorney Jeff Hass. Photo by Eric Shultz

We pass on to our readers this update on the sentencing of the LANL 6 (Wind Euler, Cathy Sullivan, Summer Abbott, Janet Greenwald, Barbara Grothus and Pam Gilchrist), who had locked arms across one lane of  a road to the Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear weapons facility on Hiroshima Day last August. Provided by Nuke Free Now (www.nukefreenow.org/), it includes a quick overview by Gilchrist.

Dear friends,

Following up on the trial of the LANL 6 earlier this year, we have now received the news that Judge Kirk has allowed the activists to perform 20 hours of community service at non-profits they support, rather than pay the fines he levied at the original trial.

As the LANL 6’s attorney, Jeff Haas stated, “It was as a result of the defendant’s strong principles that Judge Kirk allowed them to convert their fines to community service with organizations with whom they had political agreement in their own communities. A good precedent.”

For full details on this development, please see the press release below.

We are of course delighted that the judge is allowing the LANL 6 to put their energy towards good ends, although we still disagree with the original guilty verdict in light of the much greater crimes against humanity committed through the continued work on nuclear weapons.

In peace,

Thomas Jaggers and Michelle Victoria

Nuke Free Now’s email continued with the following overview by one of the LANL 6, Pam Gilchrist:

Fines Dropped:  LANL 6 to do Community Service

On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 6 anti-nuclear activists, arrested during a peaceful Hiroshima-Day protest at the gates of Las Alamos National Laboratory on August 6, 2012, went to trial before Judge Alan Kirk in Los Alamos Municipal Court.

The defendants spoke passionately about US commitments under The 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and decisions of the International Court of Justice as well as for the need to expend resources to confront climate change, the real and immediate threat to national security, not to expand the dangerous and archaic nuclear arsenal.

In his decision, Judge Kirk found the 6 guilty of obstructing movement and refusing to obey an officer and not guilty of trespass.  Judge Kirk levied fines of $100 each for the two guilty charges. He also sentenced the LANL 6 to one year’s probation and charged each $142 in court fees.

The Defendants then Petitioned the Court  to allow them to do community service or jail time rather than pay fines or costs to Los Alamos County.  On Feb. 7, Judge Kirk granted the defendants’ Motion to do twenty hours of community service at not-for-profits they selected in their local community, subject to the Court’s approval, but he denied their Motion to do time instead or to do community service for the court costs.

Jeffrey Haas, attorney for the LANL 6, said “It was as a result of the defendant’s strong principles that Judge Kirk allowed them to convert their fines to community service with organizations with whom they had political agreement in their own communities. A good precedent.”

Though the LANL 6 had different reasons for standing firm on Hiroshima Day, they are united in their demands that the US divert spending from nuclear weapons to cleaning up the environment and beginning the work to reverse global warming. All stated that it was more important to get out their message than the municipal ordinances they were accused of violating. In his closing argument, Attorney Haas said it was crazy to keep producing hazardous, dangerous, and useless nuclear weapons in an era when the real national security threat was catastrophic climate change, which the US ignores to its peril.

For information contact:

Pam Gilchrist

pam@dtbprojects.com

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