Imprisoned Nuclear Activist Nun Granted Victory On Appeal via NPR

From the moment she was taken into custody in 2012, outside a building that stores enriched uranium in Oak Ridge, Tenn., Sister Megan Rice has argued she’s been driven by one thing — a desire to spread a message.

“And we all know that nuclear energy is linked inextricably with nuclear weapons,” Rice told a group of activists in remarks captured on YouTube.

Prosecutors accused her of violating the Sabotage Act, intending to hurt the government’s ability to wage war or defend itself.

But a federal appeals court has handed a victory to the 85-year-old nun. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit voted two-to-one to throw out the most serious charge, sabotage, against Rice.

The court said no rational juror could have concluded the nun and her two collaborators cut fences at the nuclear site to let al-Qaida slip in. And the court majority wrote, “it takes more than bad publicity to injure the national defense.”

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