Judge limits defence at start of trial
Summary: Seven defendants are standing trial in the USA for an action at the Kings Bay nuclear submarine base in Georgia
In Brunswick Georgia USA seven defendants are standing trial for conspiracy, destruction of government property, depredation of government property, and trespassing.
Translated, this means that they entered the nuclear submarine base in Kings Bay, Georgia,on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., carrying hammers and baby bottles of their own blood; they used crime scene tape and hammers and hung banners reading: “The ultimate logic of racism is genocide - Dr. Martin Luther King”, “The ultimate logic of Trident is omnicide” and “Nuclear weapons: illegal / immoral.” They also brought an indictment charging the U.S. government with crimes against peace.
The case resembles the separate trials in Ireland during the last decade of Mary Kelly and the 5 Pitstop Ploughshares.: Deirdre Clancy, Nuin Dunlop, Karen Fallon, Damien Moran and Ciaron O'Reilly. After many years of mistrials, a judge's misdirection to a jury, another judge's recusal because of his proven friendship with George W Bush and a third judge's recusal because of perceived bias towards a defendant, all defendants were unanimously cleared of the charges. They had all admitted entering Shannon airport and decommissioning a war plane before the start of the Iraq war.. They pleaded lawful excuse
In the Kings Bay Plowshares trial the Jury has now been selected - nine women, including three African-American women, and three men.
The opening statements by prosecution and defendants have been made. Clare Grady, representing herself made her own opening statement and referred to her Irish roots
Each Trident submarine at Kings Bay can carry 24 submarine-launched ballistic Trident D5 missiles. Each missile can carry up to eight 100 kiloton nuclear warheads, about 30 times the explosive force of the Hiroshima bomb.
However, after the jury was sent home for the night the judge admonished the defence, referring to the opinions she has issued restricting them from any mention of international law, a defence of necessity, (lawful excuse?) or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. “I am going to require that you follow my rulings or we are going to have to make alternative arrangements,” she said. “This is not a forum for converting people to a particular religion. I gave you a tremendous amount of leeway.”
Many of the defendants attended the three trials of the Pitstop Ploughshares in Dublin. As with the Dublin trials, the court room in Brunswick is full and an overflow crowd of supporters are watching from nearby on closed circuit television.
The seven defendants are:
Mark Colville, 55, of the Amistad Catholic Worker, New Haven, Connecticut, Clare Grady, 59, of the Ithaca Catholic Worker, Martha Hennessy, 62, of the New York Catholic Worker, Fr. Steve Kelly SJ, 69, of the Bay Area, California, Elizabeth McAlister, 78, of Jonah House, Baltimore. Patrick O’Neill, 61, of the Fr. Charlie Mulholland Catholic Worker, Garner, North Carolina and Carmen Trotta, 55, of the New York Catholic Worker.