Las Vegas Sun

April 16, 2014

Currently: 62° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Judge struggles with punishment for protesters

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 | 12:26 a.m.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The judge who sentenced an 84-year-old nun to three years in prison and two fellow Catholic peace activists to five years each seemed to struggle with the decision.

Judge Amul Thapar professed admiration for the trio's sincerely held religious beliefs but also said those beliefs were not an excuse to break into a Tennessee-based nuclear complex.

The defendants showed no remorse, saying they believed it was a miracle from God that allowed them to penetrate the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge without getting caught.

The Y-12 facility holds the nation's primary supply of bomb-grade uranium and was known as the "Fort Knox of uranium."