Nun, 84, faces three years in jail for nuclear break-in

Three years sentence

An 84-year-old nun was handed a 35-month jail term on Tuesday for breaking into a US nuclear weapons plant and daubing it with biblical references and human blood, reports The Guardian.

Sr Megan Rice was sentenced alongside two co-defendants, Greg Boertje-Obed, 58, and Michael Walli, 64, both of whom received 62-month terms.

At an earlier hearing in January, a judge ordered the three Catholic anti-nuclear protesters to pay $53,000 for what the government estimated was damage done to the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, regarded as one of the most secure in the world.

All three defendants were convicted of sabotage after the 2012 break-in, on charges that carried a maximum sentence of up to 30 years. The government had asked for the trio to be given prison sentences of between five and nine years.

In a recent interview with the Guardian from prison, Rice said she hoped US district judge Amul Thapar would seize the opportunity to 'take his place in history' and sentence them in a way that would reflect their symbolic, non-violent actions – actions she said were intended to highlight the US stockpile of nuclear weapons they believe is immoral and illegal.

Rice and her co-defendants have been in prison, mostly in Ocilla, Georgia, for nine months, a period of time her lawyers had argued was sufficient punishment for the break-in.

On 28 July 2012, the three activists cut through three fences before reaching a $548m storage bunker. They hung banners, strung up crime-scene tape and hammered off a small chunk of the fortress-like storage facility for uranium material, inside the most secure part of complex. They painted messages such as 'The fruit of justice is peace' and splashed small bottles of human blood on the bunker wall.

FULL COVERAGE

Nun, 84, sentenced to three years in jail for nuclear break-in (The Guardian)

Elderly nun sentenced to 35 months for Tennessee nuclear break-in (Reuters)

Sister Megan Rice talks with the media after being released from custody, 2012 (YouTube)

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