Sending the Wrong People to Jail…

Friends,

In a little over a month from now (on March 28th) the five Disarm Now Plowshares co-defendants will walk into Judge Benjamin Settle’s courtroom for sentencing.

Sentencing can be defined as the punishment given to persons convicted of a crime.  One legal dictionary refers to the primary goals of sentencing as “punishment, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation.”  It is somewhat ironic that one of the goals of sentencing is “deterrence,” the same longstanding stated (and completely misguided) goal of U.S. nuclear weapons policy.  And I must admit that the last one, “rehabilitation” made me laugh as I thought of the idea of rehabilitating any of these fine people.  Perhaps it would be more appropriate to  prescribe rehabilitation for those people engaged in preparations for nuclear war, the ones Thomas Merton once described as:

“…the sane ones, the well-adapted ones, who can without qualms and without nausea aim the missiles and press the buttons that will initiate the great festival of destruction that they, the sane ones, have prepared.” Continue reading

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