Criminal Defense Support and Appeal for Peace Activist

July.23.2013

​A litigation team will represent long-time peace activist, Sr. Megan Rice, age 82, a Catholic sister of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus for over sixty years, who along with two others (both veterans), cut through the chain link fence surrounding a nuclear productions facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. 

Describing themselves as the Transform Now Plowshares, the three came as non-violent protestors to symbolically disarm the weapons.  In the dark, the three activists cut through a boundary fence which had signs stating “No Trespassing.”  The signs indicated that unauthorized entry, a misdemeanor, is punishable by up to 1 year in prison and a $100,000 fine.  No security arrived to confront them.  So, the three climbed up a hill through heavy brush, crossed a road, and kept going until they saw the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility (HEUMF) surrounded by three fences, lit up by blazing lights.  Still no security.  So, they cut through the three fences, hung up their peace banners, and spray-painted peace slogans on the HEUMF.  Still no security arrived.  When security finally arrived at about 4:30 am, the three surrendered peacefully, were arrested and jailed. 

The three defendants were charged with a “sabotage” count, willful injury of national defense premises with intent to harm the national defense, which carries a twenty-year term of imprisonment. The defendants were convicted on all counts and await sentencing. 

The Orrick team, comprised of Los Angeles litigation associate James Hsiao and securities litigation and regulatory enforcement associate Judy Kwan, supervised by San Francisco intellectual property partner Karen Johnson-McKewan, will (1) review and comment on a Rule 29 motion for a judgment of acquittal, and if denied, file and prosecute a Sixth Circuit appeal challenging the conviction.