Prince of Peace Plowshares. Portland, Maine
October 29, 1997
Judge: No issue other than the terms of the sentence. Range 10-16 months.
Prosecutor: We recommend the Court impose at mid-point of Guideline range -- 13 months incarceration. Basis -- the fact that damage was done during the course of conduct which involved boarding a ship when people were on board; throwing of blood which posed risks to people on board. The conduct characterized as nonviolent was experienced as violent. Mr. Baggarly had to be restrained before he stopped hammering on the ship. This case is about breaking the law and there are penalties when people act violently towards property. No one has a right to act violently towards other people's property. [What irony!]
Standby counsel -- no statements.
Steve Baggarly: As character witnesses I would like to make a submission to the Court. [Holds up pictures] These pictures that you have were taken two months after the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima. The photographer took 18 frames from one spot to create 360 degree panorama of the scene. It shows square mile after square mile of nothing. 100,000 people were instantly killed and 200,000 have died from its effects since then.
Prosecutor has no objection to entering photographs in court record.
Steve: [Full copy of statement will be reproduced at some point for circulation] For the record I would like to state that should I be sentenced to restitution, I will be unable to pay. I have no money nor make any money. Even if I had, I would not pay the Navy to make The Sullivans. Hence I am unable to cooperate with any supervisory release.
As I stand here this afternoon my deep desire is that I would be the only person being sentenced today. Unfortunately this is not the case. During the trial in May the United States federal judiciary again asserted the legality of nuclear weapons -- death sentence on the world . . . [gives examples of] nuclearism and its devastation and squandering of resources.
In this courtroom again today everyone present will be sentenced to life on a nuclear death row with no stay of execution.
[Names, one by one, children and friends in the course of statement, starting with children] . . . Daniel [in court with Kim] just celebrated his sixth birthday . . . My two and a half-year old nephew, and Rachel whose mother is imprisoned in Florida . . . Kids in the ghetto where I live [names them] . . . Grandmother and grandfather, both into nursing home since I came to jail, in their mid 80s. Though their bodies and minds begin to betray them, they continue to be angry for my son And my spouse, Kim, profound gift and great joy. Living in Catholic Worker houses for ten years, we also count scores of former homeless people as our family [names them].
I name all these people as they are all targeted by nuclear weapons and live their lives under a death sentence. They are part of me. I carried them with me on Ash Wednesday when . . . . Working to convert swords into plowshares. They are persons made in the image and likeness of God . . . The Sullivans sole purpose is to terrorize, torture and burn to death people just like them around the world, from infants to elders. They help me understand the U.S. nuclear grand conspiracy to mass murder . . . [Talks about the armaments] . . .Each has l0 T. Cruise missiles with a range up to 2,000 miles that can be fitted with warheads. 200 kiloton nuclear warheads -- packing sixty times the power of the Hiroshima bomb (see photo), enabling a single destroyer to kill millions of people and take out much of a continent.
The U.S. navy and BIW . . . The conspiracy's profiteer is General Dynamics, owner of BIW . . . shaking down the people of Maine for 2/3 of the money need to expand BIW, while simultaneously cutting hundreds of jobs over the next few years. In a state where 2 of 5 children go hungry each month. . . .
The next echelon of the conspiracy is the U.S. War Department which pieces together the personnel and weaponry and propaganda necessary for first strike nuclear war . . . At the head is the Secretary of War entrusted with assuring U.S. world domination. Aegis destroyers are important in his arsenal. The ringleader of the nuclear strike force resides in the White House . . . There are l0,000 deployed nuclear warheads and others in reserve -- one ton of nuclear TNT for every man, woman and child on the earth.
Finally, courtrooms like this one are linchpins holding the entire nuclear war making together. Here the weapons are impenetrably protected by the law. Here every new weapon is rubber-stamped. Here the insane notion that the U.S. must control the world, even at the risk of destroying it, is made to stick. Here the Biblical law, Love every neighbor as ourselves, and love the enemy, are not to be heard, while the nation's greatest criminals have impunity. International law is dismissed, world-wide cries for disarmament are overruled, and the targeting and slaughter of a world filled with children is sustained. The death of everything is found to be well within the law. Here inanimate objects are judged more precious than our own children.
The good news is that we do not have to live on the edge of the abyss. God assures us that sisterhood and brotherhood can bring domination to an end. That we can all help God build a world devoid of swords. There is still time for the conspirators to stop their inhuman activities and bring about the nonviolent Kindom of God. They can still choose to side with God . . . If the conspirators relent as I urge . . . . there can be huge celebration . . .
Judge, what is done to the poor, to suffering people, and to the enemy is done directly to God. How we treat others is how we treat God. . . .
For half a century we have lived on the nuclear precipice. Meanwhile l. 3 billion people don't have what they need to survive . . . . 850 million go hungry. Each and every minute we spend $1.7 million dollars [on war] while 30 children starve to death. In this courtroom today the world will be sentenced to more of the same. The powers will rule for the swords and against the plowshares. There is nothing so urgent as the beating of swords into plowshares. . .
Nuclear weapons are history's greatest industrial evil . . . yet even their disarmament is not difficult. The need for disarmament is as real as the faces of those we love, and anyone can begin it with a little hammer blow.
Judge: Has the Prosecutor anything to say?
Judge [ mumble, mumble -- the programmed words] The Court concludes l0-16 months for the term of incarceration, 2 years term of supervised release. Not eligible for remission of probation. Fines waived. Order of restitution is required -- as in my October Memo -- $703.89. Memorandum will reflect no reason to depart from the guideline range.
Mr Baggarly, please stand. [Steve stands. So do some other people in the courtroom. Judge orders people to sit. People call out: ]
People: -- God bless Steve Baggarly.
-- Shame on this Court [Judge orders them removed by marshals]
Kim: [Steve's wife]. This is a good man. You are sending away goodness. Goodness and rightness and love. This is what is getting locked up today.
Judge orders her removed by marshals
Judge: [Proceeds to sentencing. Mumble, mumble, mumbo jumbo] 13 months on each count, served concurrently with each other. Two years supervised release on condition you do not commit another federal, state or local crime. Restitution in the amount of . . . Special assessment $200. Remanded to U.S. marshal. Accepts mid range of the Guidelines. Right of appeal of conviction and sentence . . .
The judge leaves.
The people applaud Steve and make peace signs as he leaves the courtroom.