Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Report back on sentencing, 12/14

Hello all,

Ellen Barfield, Eve Tetaz and myself (Pete Perry) came to DC Superior Court prepared to be sentenced. We knew that Judge Lynn Liebovitz was known for being a harsh sentencer. As part of civil resistance, we know that accepting the possibility of jail time is an important part of the journey.

For me, this will be the last big action for me. I am in a loving relationship now where there are a bunch of financial responsibilities. So, for me, it's time to take a very long sabbatical. I will continue to have the highest respect for all of you, especially Ellen and Eve, who continue to engage in civil resistance against war and torture.

Ellen was sentenced to 18 months of probation, 75 days in jail, all but 25 suspended. This means she began serving her 25 days today. Should she be arrested within the next 18 months, or violate terms of her probation (which includes a stay away from the entire Capitol complex), she will be hauled before Judge Liebovitz who pledged to give her the other 50 days. Ellen was brave and said she will continue speaking truth to power -- therefore she got a stiff sentence.

For me, I have decided to begin focusing on other things in my life. I said I would no longer engage in civil resistance. Yet, I was still given this entire next weekend (6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday) at DC jail. Also have probation for nine months (with the same stay away order) -- should I be arrested again within this period I will be brought before Judge Liebovitz to do 41 more days (the suspended part).

I believe both of us also have about $550 worth of fines (a burdensome sum for me and my partner). Eve's sentencing was delayed due to medical issues until January 25th. Similar to Ellen, Eve will honestly tell the judge she will continue doing what she has been doing if there continues to be U.S. waged wars and sanctioned torture. She is one of the people I admire the most in the world.

This trial stemmed from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in May. Here's the link: http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2009/05/21

I also think my sentencing might have been lighter because I did not use the blood money. Liebovitz made a point about this, calling it "violent," and wrongfully claiming that Ellen and Eve were actually throwing it *at* people in the hearing room.

Ann Wilcox is Ellen's attorney advisor and will soon be supplying her DCDC number which will allow us to write (don't wait too long) her and get on a visitors list at the privately run women's jail. Ann is cc'd on this e-mail.


PS -- I want to thank my attorney, Mitchell Baer. David Barrows for being there for me today. And of course the man of my life, Matthew Stafford. Also, Jack, you did a fantastic job looking out for my dear friend!

Pete Perry
"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."

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