Plowshares Appeal: A Photo Finish

Friends,

Here’s a photo of the legal team, defendants and supporters taken March 8th in the courtroom where the case for the Disarm Now Plowshares appeal was argued.

(left to right) Tom Campbell, Fr. Bix, Oratai Tresl, Dale Kremer, Lisa Kremer, unnamed future Plowshares legal counsel, Albert P. Linnell, Ann Linnell, Jerome Kuh, Paula Olson and Roger Hunko.

As for the court’s decision, here’s what Blake Kremer had to say: “The court ruled for the government, finding that international law was not an issue before the trial court, and that the government had adequately established that Sister Anne, Father Steve, Father Bix, Susan and Lynne were malicious.  Onward and forward.”

So there you have it – “MALICIOUS”!!!  I’m sure we are all eternally grateful to the judges on the appellate (KANGAROO) court for confirming the malicious intent of these devoted priests, nun and lay people.  Knowing them as I do I would never have known that any of them have a malicious bone in their bodies.  Well, now that the court has cleared up that little misunderstanding we can move on to other, more important issues, right???  Right???

And of course, President Obama must be relieved to know that yet another precedent has been established in yet another U.S. court that international law is “not an issue” in matters relating to the National Security State.

Click the links below to read the previous posts about the appeal:

Disarm Now Plowshares Appeal: “an exciting morning…”

Disarm Now Plowshares loses appeal (government loses moral values)

With great thanks to all of the attorneys who have supported the Disarm Now Plowshares from pre-trial, through trial and sentencing, and now through the appeals process! 

Peace,

Leonard

Disarm Now Plowshares loses appeal (government loses moral values)

Hot off the presses from Courthouse News Service is news of today’s appelate court ruling on the Disarm Now Plowshares appeal of their conviction for the 2009 Plowshares action at the Bangor Trident submarine base. As usual, U.S. “law” (protecting government property) trumps the Hague Convention, Nuremberg Principles, the laws of war, every precept of international humanitarian law and pretty much every treaty to which the U.S. is a party. Why??? Because we say so!!!  Continue reading

Disarm Now Plowshares Appeal: “an exciting morning…”

Dear Friends,

The Disarm Now Plowshares defendants appealed their case on the basis that they were denied their right to present their defense in their December 2010 trial in Federal court.  Today, March 8th, attorneys representing the Disarm Now Plowshares defendants appeared in US Federal Appellate Court in Tacoma, Washington to present their arguments.  Attorney Blake Kremer shared a brief reflection of his experience – what he called “an excting morning” – in court today, and I’ve included it here.  Thanks to Blake and all the attorneys who assisted (and in some cases continue to assist) the Disarm Now Plowshares defendants.  And thanks to all attorneys who give of their time assisting the many peacemakers who risk arrest for the sake of peace and justice.

Peace,

Leonard

**************

Given 20 minutes to make my argument to the court, I prepared a 10-minute speech. I knew that I would be given some opportunity to make my pre-planned points, but was confident that the judicial panel would likely frequently interrupt me with questions.

I was less than 20 seconds in to my pre-planned speech when the questions erupted, and I was never able to return to my notes again. The judges wanted to know why I felt that the defendants were not given an opportunity to present their defense. They were also interested in hearing more about the questions that the jury sent out during trial deliberations, and what I felt the legal significance was. I pointed out an interesting case where this very appeals court had used jury questions as part of a basis to find that a judge had erroneously confused the jury and deprived a defendant of a fair trial.

The US Attorney went next. The judges had less questions for him. I finished with a short rebuttal, then asked the judges to take in to account that some of my clients will soon be completing prison sentences and others have serious health concerns, and that in both cases, these people would like to hear back from the court as soon as possible. The panel acknowledged this concern.

I have never had such an aggressive round of questions from judges in my entire career. They were sincerely interested, and were pushing me hard to answer questions that they had clearly been considering for some time. Afterwards, I walked past one of the judges outside the court house. She looked up at me, smiled, and said “Good job, counselor!” I have been a lawyer too long to read this or anything else as a sign of encouragement. But it was an exciting morning.

Disarm Now Plowshares with some members of their legal team, December 2010

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