Worcester Catholic Workers get community service for antiwar “rosary arrest”

posted by Mike on November 6th, 2008

Ken and Scott after their hearing

Two Worcester Catholics were sentenced to community service by Judge Timothy S. Hillman in Worcester District Court today.

Ken Hannaford-Ricardi and Scott Schaeffer-Duffy, members of the SS. Francis & Therese Catholic Worker community, were previously found guilty of the petty offense of disobeying a US Marshal when they refused to leave the lobby of the Worcester federal building while praying the rosary for an end to the Iraq War this past March 19.

At the original trial, they had been sentenced to pay the minimum fine of $250, but for personal reasons they refused. Their three co-defendants, Michael Benedetti, Sandra McSweeney, and Roger Stanley, accepted the fine.

At today’s hearing, Assistant US Attorney Karin Bell asked the judge to levy an even heavier fine on Schaeffer-Duffy, who has “a lengthy criminal history.” She said that “a convicted defendant does not have the right to come before this court and say what he will or will not do,” and that “these defendants have chosen the lifestyle they have chosen.”

Rather than increase the fines, Judge Hillman vacated the fines, processing fees, and assessments, changing their penalty to community service. Hannaford-Ricardi will spend 25 hours volunteering at the United Way, and Schaeffer-Duffy will spend 40 hours at the library.

It’s interesting to note that on the list of “Shelters for adults in the area” hanging on the bulletin board in the probation office, the third shelter listed is the Catholic Worker, where Schaeffer-Duffy lives and Hannaford-Ricardi volunteers.

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6 Comments Leave a comment.

  1. On November 6, 2008 at 16:52 Clarence Burley said:

    It sounds like Hillman has some sense of fitness and prioritization.
    There will be an extra $65 in your basket in honor of your community service

  2. On November 6, 2008 at 21:41 Paul Ropp said:

    I too commend Judge Hillman’s handling of this case in vacating the fines and fees and prescribing community service. This is a fitting verdict the day after the American people passed their own verdict on the illegal Iraq war.

  3. On November 7, 2008 at 14:30 Tracy said:

    Very, very cool.
    Thanks for the update, Mike. From what I saw elsewhere, I had a feeling the judge might be a great one!

  4. On November 12, 2008 at 20:53 Cha-Cha said:

    When I heard they “punished” Catholic Workers with community service, I LMAOed.

  5. On November 13, 2008 at 19:34 K said:

    No, no, don’t throw those community organizers in the briar patch!

  6. On November 29, 2008 at 21:26 Adam Villani said:

    K – nice one.

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