Written by News 1st
19 Feb, 2014 | 7:04 am
An elderly Catholic nun has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison for damage caused while breaking into a US nuclear defence site.
Sister Megan Rice, 84, and two other protesters cut fences and entered the Oak Ridge, Tennessee, facility, which processes and stores uranium.
The other two, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, were sentenced to more than five years in prison.
The July 2012 incident prompted security changes at the Y-12 site.
“Please have no leniency with me,” Sister Megan told the court at Tuesday’s sentencing hearing in Knoxville.
“To remain in prison for the rest of my life would be the greatest gift you could give me.”
During the trial Sister Megan, from Washington DC, said her only regret was waiting so long to take action.
The peace activists, members of the group ‘Transform Now Plowshares’, had initially faced up to 20 years in prison after their conviction last May.
The three activists admitted cutting the fence to get into the site, walking around, spray-painting words, stringing out crime scene tape and chipping a wall with hammers.
They also sprayed the exterior of the complex with baby bottles containing human blood.
When a guard approached, they offered him food and started singing.
After the activists’ break-in, the US Congress and the Department of Energy investigated the facility and found “troubling displays of ineptitude”.
The facility was constructed as part of the Manhattan Project, the top-secret US programme to develop the very first nuclear bomb.
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