Attorneys for three peace protesters who were convicted of sabotage after they broke into the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge have filed an appeal.
Sister Megan Rice, 84, was sentenced two three years in prison, while her companions, Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli were given 5 year sentences.
The three used bolt cutters to get through fences surrounding Y-12 in July 2012. They were able to reach a storage bunker that holds the nation's primary supply of bomb-grade uranium. The three hung signs, splashed blood on the building, and painted messages before being confronted by a security guard.
The appeal claims the charge of sabotage was too much, since the three never had any intention of causing any harm or real damage to the facility. It also claims the government never proved that the three interfered with national security with their actions, even pointing out that intrusion highlighted serious security concerns at Y-12 that have since been improved.
Attorneys also argue that the prosecution prejudiced the jury by mentioning the September 11 terrorist attacks in closing arguments.