Nuns, Religion, Sentencing Law

These Nuns Deserve a Break Today

nuns walking.jpgThis strikes us as a bit unreasonable:

A federal judge has rejected the community-service plans he requested 10 months ago from three nuns convicted of hurting national defense when they protested U.S. nuclear policies at a missile silo. That means Dominican Sisters Ardeth Platte, Carol Gilbert and Jackie Hudson could face more time in jail if they refuse to pay $3,082 in restitution to the Air Force.

“We are surprised. I’m trying to make sense of it,” Platte, 70, said Monday after learning of the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Blackburn. “There’s no way we could pay the military. It would be impossible for us to give money to the military because of what they would do with it. And the judge knows that. He knows our conscience.”

It’s not like these nuns have escaped without punishment for their protest. The three sisters have already served significant prison terms — of 30, 33, and 41 months — and have collectively performed “more than 148 YEARS of combined community service, including counseling inmates and raising $600,000 in charitable contributions for literacy programs, soup kitchens and aid for victims of disasters.”
(And doesn’t the federal restitution statute require the district court to consider the defendants’ ability to pay? We’re talking about Dominican nuns here. Haven’t they taken a vow of poverty?)
Nuns May Land Back in Prison As Judge Insists on Restitution [Denver Post via How Appealing]

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