Our little throwaway post from yesterday afternoon — about three nuke-protesting nuns, who previously served prison terms for their protests, and who may be returning to prison for refusing to pay restitution to the military — prompted several reader comments.
The discussion turned dangerously substantive. The law of restitution was discussed; actual statutes were cited. What the heck is going on?
We’ll leave theories of punishment and technical legal issues to people who know better (e.g., sentencing gurus Doug Berman and Dan Markel). We have some practical advice to offer the Dominican sisters.
Ladies: Having a hard time coming up with $3,000 in restitution? Yeah, that vow of poverty is a bitch. But here’s an idea: Sell the movie rights to your story, and make restitution out of the proceeds.
The cinematic possibilities are endless. Here are three:
1. A Susan Sarandon star vehicle. ‘Cause Sarandon loves to get her “crusading nun” on. See, e.g., Dead Man Walking.
A nun who goes to prison for dousing missile silos with her own blood — then goes to prison again, for refusing to pay blood money to the military? Hello, Oscar!!! (Bonus points if Sarandon frumps herself up and gains twenty pounds for the role.)
2. A comedy starring Whoopi Goldberg. Working title: “Sister Acting Up: Back in the Habit (of Destroying Federal Property).”
Whoopi hasn’t had a hit in years; but this could turn things around for her. As all of Hollywood knows: Nuns + Nuclear Weapons = Box Office Gold!
3. An updating of The Sound of Music. Think “post-modern movie musical,” a la Moulin Rouge. It would be set in a nuclear missile storage facility instead of the Austrian hills. Maria, a young Dominican nun, goes to an anti-nuclear weapons protest. She meets a handsome fellow protestor, George Von Trapp — a widower with seven kids.
Von Trapp asks Maria to babysit when he has to attend a protest in another city. Maria hits it off with the kids, then falls in love with Von Trapp. After much agonizing, she decides to leave her religious order to “follow her heart.”
But then Maria is arrested, jailed, and convicted on federal charges of malicious destruction of property and interfering with the national defense. Bummer!
The climactic scene takes place at the sentencing hearing. The exasperated judge turns to defense counsel and asks: “How do I solve a problem like Maria?”
Maria’s defense lawyer responds by calling the seven Von Trapp kids to the stand. They testify seriatim about how wonderful Maria is, how they can’t go on without her, etc. Deeply moved by their testimony, the judge sentences Maria to time served. Hooray!
Earlier: These Nuns Deserve a Break Today