Attorneys for Michael Walli are seeking a sentence well below the recommended guidelines for the Y-12 protester convicted on felony counts of depredation against government property and sabotage of the national defense.
In a memo filed Jan. 4 in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Walli’s attorneys argued that a sentence of time-served or a sentence of one year in prison would accomplish the “goals of sentencing” or be in line with other similar cases involving peace activists carrying out protests at nuclear weapons facilities.
Walli and two other Plowshares protesters — Sister Megan Rice and Greg Boertje-Obed — were convicted on charges stemming from their July 28, 2012 break-in at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge. The three cut through four fences and avoided detection until they reached the plant’s high-security Protected Area, where they spray-painted slogans on structures and splashed human blood on the storehouse for bomb-grade uranium.
According to the court memo, more than 2,100 letters and postcards have been written to the court in support of the protesters, who collectively refer to themselves as the Transform Now Plowshares. The letters came from individuals or groups in 45 different states and 16 foreign countries.
“It is clear that these peace activists are not terrorists, but are rather trying to uphold international law with regard to the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty),” wrote Imogen Michel of Edinbugh, Scotland in an Aug. 10, 2013 letter to the federal judge.