Dear President Bush:
We the undersigned request the immediate pardon and release of three Grand Rapids Dominican nuns currently serving time in Federal Prisons. Sr.Ardeth Platte,OP, 10857-039, age 67, is serving a 41 month sentence at FCI Danbury CT, Sr.Carol Gilbert, OP, 10856-039, age 56, is serving a 33 month sentence at RI FPC Alderson WV and Sr.Jacqueline Hudson, OP, 08808-039, age 69 is serving a 30 month sentence at FPC Victorville CA. including 3 years of supervised release Their "crime": non-violently and symbolically exposing and inspecting a first strike 330 kiloton (20x Hiroshima) Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile. They found this weapon of mass extermination on high-alert, ready to be unleashed within 15 minutes of your order in Greeley, Colorado.
We know that you are aware that because of its vast and uncontrollable heat, blast and radiation, any use of even one Minuteman III would be a grotesque war crime or genocide. As you know too, any such threat or use of a Minuteman III missile is universally illegal and criminal because it is a threat against all humanity. We trust that you also agree that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty requires all countries to pursue open, non-violent declaration, inspection and disarmament one weapon at a time in order to effectively end highly dangerous nuclear proliferation.
The Nuns pointed out these facts and law asserting that as citizens in a free society we have a basic right to non-violently or symbolically expose threat or commission of war crimes by our own government. Instead of being honored or dismissed, the Nuns were charged with two felonies sabotage and depredation of property over $1000 for lowering 32 feet of fence (worth $200) and placing crosses on the 120 ton missile cover, which did no harm of any kind. They were convicted because of an absurdly unfair criminal trial in which they were prevented from raising any defense evidence about the constitutional limits to your war powers, the laws of war which positively prohibit any threat or use of a weapon of mass extermination or the grim realities of the Minuteman III all directly relevant to elements of the crimes charged. The case is legally ripe for appeal.
You can eliminate the need for further litigation in this matter by ordering the pardon and release of these religious women who have spent their lives in the pursuit of justice and peace and in educating people about the moral and legal obligation for complete non-violent nuclear disarmament. It should be noted that these women are highly respected both in this country and abroad. On October 12, 2003 they received the NUCLEAR-FREE FUTURE AWARD from Munich, Germany. Releasing the Nuns now is the just and humanitarian thing to do.
Thank you. Go to this web site to view other signers names and to sign yourself: