“Rosary trial” sentencing hearing Nov 6

posted by Mike on October 29th, 2008

Two of the five found guilty of disobeying a federal marshal earlier this year, in connection with praying a rosary for an end to the Iraq War at the Worcester federal building, have a hearing scheduled at Worcester District Court this November 6 at 10am before Judge Hillman.

Anyone curious is encouraged to attend.

Though three of the defendants were willing to pay the $250 fine they were given, two others, Ken Hannaford-Ricardi and Scott Schaeffer-Duffy, refused the fine, citing personal circumstances and conscience. At this hearing Judge Hillman will reveal the consequences of their refusal, possibly by jailing them.

The full press release:

Worcester Catholics to be Sentenced in Federal Court for Praying the Rosary to End the Iraq War

On Thursday, November 6, at 10 a.m., Ken Hannaford-Ricardi and Scott Schaeffer-Duffy, members of the Saints Francis & Therese Catholic Worker in Worcester, will be sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Hillman in the Donahue Federal Building on the 5th floor.

Hannaford-Ricardi and Schaeffer-Duffy were arrested on March 19, 2008 with Sandra McSweeney, Roger Stanley, and Mike Benedetti, after they entered the lobby of the Donahue Federal Building, knelt on the floor, and prayed the rosary for an immediate end to the Iraq War. At the completion of their prayer, they were arrested by U.S. marshalls and charged with blocking the entrance and refusing an order of the marshalls to leave. At their trial on September 23, the five represented themselves and were found not guilty of the first charge, but guilty of the second. They were all sentenced to pay $280 in fines and court costs. Schaeffer-Duffy and Hannaford-Ricardi agreed to pay the court costs, but refused, as a matter of conscience, to pay the fine. Judge Hillman ordered them to return on November 6 to be re-sentenced, most likely, to jail. The two refusers told judge Hillman that they could not in conscience give money to a government that was still fighting a war that Pope John Paul II called, “Illegal, immoral, and unjust.” Both defendants are parents of 4 children. They work for peace and justice and to shelter the homeless as part of the Catholic Worker movement.

All are invited to join the defendants in court and at a 9 a.m. Mass at Saint Paul’s Cathedral prior to the sentencing.

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