In , three Dominican nuns were convicted of “damaging government property and obstructing the national defense”. They had broken in to a Colorado Minuteman Ⅲ nuclear missile silo, which they beat with hammers and covered with blood.
One of the nuns, Ardeth Platte, said, “These nuclear weapons, it’s a gun at the heads of God’s people throughout the world. You cannot wait until the nuclear weapons are used. You must stop the crime beforehand.”
They were sentenced to between 30 and 41 months in prison and ordered to pay $3,080.04 in restitution to fix the fence they had cut with bolt cutters in order to reach the silo area.
And these nuns’ll be damned if they’re going to pay. “We don’t have the money to pay the restitution, nor would we pay it if we had it,” Carol Gilbert said. “There is no possible way I could add money to the Air Force budget,” confirmed Jackie Hudson. And the judge in their case refused to accept community service in lieu of the restitution.
So instead the nuns organized a food drive, and tried to deliver the food first to the prosecutor’s office and then to two Air Force bases, indicating that the food was intended for the children of military families. They were rebuffed, and the prosecutor insists that their restitution still must be paid.
Another group that performed a similar action in North Dakota earlier this year was recently sentenced to several months in prison and ordered to pay $17,000 in restitution. I don’t expect the government will see any of that money either.