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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 04:50 PM
Original message
Peace activists acquitted of conspiracy for spilling own blood at...
http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Catholic_peace_activists_...

Peace activists acquitted of conspiracy for spilling own blood at recruiting center; Still face jail

Jennifer Van Bergen

Four Catholic peace activists who protested the invasion of Iraq have been acquitted of felony conspiracy charges and face only misdemeanors, RAW STORY has learned. Known collectively as the St. Patrick Four, the four defendants: Peter Demott, Clare Grady, Daniel Burns and Teresa Grady faced six years in prison each for entering an army recruitment center in Lansing, N.Y. and pouring vials of their own blood on themselves, the floors and walls in March 2003.

They were arrested and tried by a jury in state court. A hung jury returned nine to three for acquittal. Instead of retrying the group in state court or dropping the charges, the District Attorney, George Dentes, asked the Department of Justice to bring federal charges against them. "Why that was done is at this moment is a mystery," declared Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), who gave an empassioned speech last week before the federal courthouse in Binghamton, New York.

Hinchey declared that the Four were engaged in protests that were "entirely in keeping with some of the best traditions of American society from the very beginning." The federal trial began last Monday in Binghamton, NY. All defendants represented themselves, but in a surprise move, Clare Grady waived her right to represent herself before her closing statement and asked attorney Bill Quigley to present closing arguments for her.

Witnesses present at the trial told RAW STORY that Quigley's statement, in which he compared the defendants to the people who built this country and signed the Declaration of Independence, "was inspiring and moving." One of the defendants, Daniel Burns, said U.S attorney Miroslav Lovric used his closing statement to compare the defendants to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. Lovric did not return calls for comment or repeated requests a transcript of his closing statement.

more....



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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. Excellent news! Thanks.
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REACTIVATED IN CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
2. Great news ! n/t
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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. Wow! You know that makes me think I still live in America!
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 05:20 PM
Response to Original message
4. Hmmm, the latter day Chicago 7 trial didn't quite work out, did it?
Is it possible? Are we as a society learning?

As for Mr. Lovric, and his comparison of the St. Patrick Four to Timothy McVeigh: There's a big difference between symbolically spilling your own blood and annihilating 168 people without cause or warning. If you really need it spelled out for you Mr. Lovric, I invite you to take a walk with me through Oklahoma City. Putz.
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ElectroPrincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Yes, they best keep a close eye on them ...
I believe two of them are Catholic Nuns? They should have never been arrested. :(
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formernaderite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. Huh? Just because they're nuns?
Thank goodness I live in a country that doesn't make that type of distinction. I don't think any of them should have been arrested, but I don't make draw differences between virgins and the rest of us.
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buzzsaw_23 Donating Member (631 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
6. Awesome!
Celebration! Celebration !

"Do not worry over the charge of treason to your masters, but be concerned about the treason that involves yourselves," he concluded. "Be true to yourself and you cannot be a traitor to any good cause on earth."

These words lead to a 10-year prison sentence and the stripping of his U.S. citizenship. At his sentencing, Debs famously told the judge:

"Your honor, years ago, I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."

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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
7. Local news / video
http://www.newschannel34.com/news/local/story.aspx?cont...

St. Patrick's Day Four Trial

A Vietnam vet, two sisters and former Mayor John Burns' son are headed to Binghamton's Federal Court. They poured their own blood onto an army recruitment center near Ithaca to protest the war in Iraq. It happened on St. Patrick's Day 2003 and so they've become the St. Pat's Day Four. After a hung jury in a Tompkins County trial, the foursome will now be facing federal charges for their act.

NewsChannel 34's Kelly McPherson spoke with the four defendants and their former prosecutor; she shows us what's in store for this highly-anticipated trial. The Saint Patrick's Day Four have already spent four days in jail together after their arrest in March 2003. They're prepared for prison again as they face harsher charges in a federal trial. Clare Grady says, "Now they've come up with a charge that's so clever because it's a very intense charge. Conspiracy to impede an officer of the United States that carries six years. That's a big charge."

And a big chance for what they've wanted all along: a platform to protest. Peter DeMott says: "We hope to put the war on trial." Danny Burns says, "It's a privilege to stand up in front of a federal court, in front of a federal judge, in front of the public of the United States and speak out against this war." They're not denying the charges; but say their intention to stop the war is a strong defense.

Grady says: "We did not go there to the recruiting center because we just wanted to spend the day there like that. It was because of the war and the impending bloodshed and suffering." All four defendants came to the military recruitment center, with their own blood in hand, motivated by their belief that the war in Iraq was wrong. The District Attorney of Tompkins County says that those beliefs were allowed in the previous trial, but he hopes they won't be discussed in federal court. District Attorney George Dentes says, "I called the US Attorney and said 'Would you be willing to take this prosecution?' because I know in federal court things will be more down to earth."

:wtf:

more....
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donheld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
8. I am relieved.
It may have been a tacky thing to do, but in this day and age sometimes we have to do tacky things to get people's attention.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
9. Saint Patricks 4 verdict
<snip> "That is a great victory for us, said Teresa Grady, Saint Patrick's 4. Because it was clear that the government and they showed in their closing argument they really wanted to equate us with violent change. And it is clear that the jury understood our message of non-violence."

"I am just so grateful. I am grateful to be here. I am grateful to be alive, said Clare Grady, Saint Patrick's 4. I am grateful to the jury. I am so grateful for the jury. They worked super hard there was a lot that they had to take in."

The prosecution did not want to comment. Sentencing is set for January. They face a maximum sentence of a year and a half in jail and a $10,000 fine.

http://news10now.com/content/all_news/?ArID=50102&SecID...
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buzzsaw_23 Donating Member (631 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Latest from a friend
He hollered me down this evening as I was walking and we talked about the decision. They face two charges of misdemeanor and two face contempt charges. Because the Four are hard core activists with many arrests my friend seemed to think they would receive 6 months and a small fine. The actual time served might only be 2-3 months and the fine to be attended to through community service. I know these people and they will almost assuredly refuse to pay the fine. My friend is close to these people and was there for all the trial.

We'll see.

Todays news is good news.
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ithacan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
10. Excellent news!!!
these people are great! Let's hope that the voters of tompkins county kick Dentes's ass out of office in November!
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
12. Yay!
eom
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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 01:33 AM
Response to Original message
14. Related Hinchey post
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