Government asks for 30 more days to consider next move in Plowshares case

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Theodore today filed a motion with the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asking for 30 more days to consider a petition for rehearing the appeals case involving the three Y-12 protesters.

In a 2-1 decision, a Sixth Circuit panel of judges earlier this month reversed the conviction of Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed on sabotage charges. The three have since been released from prison pending a decision on a possible rehearing of appeal or resentencing on the other felony conviction (damaging government property) that’s tentatively scheduled for July 8.

The U.S. Soclicitor General will make the decision on whether to seek a rehearing of the appeal of the sabotage conviction, which carried the steepest sentence for the three protesters. If the court’s reversal of that convictions stands as is, the Plowshares protesters will apparently remain free because they would have already served sufficient time in prison for the other conviction on damaging government property.

The government is considering whether to file a request for a rehearing, either before the three judges who heard the earlier appeal or before the entire Sixth Circuit. Theodore, in today’s motion, said the Solicitor General needs more time to thorougly review the court’s opinion, consult with the U.S. Attorney’s office and determine whether to seek a rehearing en banc (before the entire Appeals Court).

Currently, the deadline for filing a petition is May 22. If the court approves the 30-day extension, the deadine will be June 22, 2015.

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This entry was posted in NNSA, security, UPF, Y-12 on by .

About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.