Peace activist sentenced for damaging property

/ Source: The Associated Press

A peace activist was sentenced Monday to six months in prison for splattering his own blood at a military recruiting station to protest the then-looming war in Iraq.

Daniel Burns was the first of four activists to be sentenced this week for splattering their blood onto the windows, walls, pictures and an American flag at the Army and Marine Corps recruiting station on March 17, 2003.

The so-called Saint Patrick’s Four were convicted for damaging government property and entering a military recruiting station for unlawful purposes.

U.S. District Judge Thomas McAvoy said he wasn’t punishing Burns for protesting, but for how he protested and what he did.

“The court doesn’t question your motivation,” he said. “I know you didn’t go there with evil purpose in mind. You went in good conscience. But what you did clearly violated the law.”

Burns, 45, was fined $250 for contempt and ordered to share payment of $958 in restitution for cleaning up the damage at the recruiting station near Ithaca.

The four were acquitted of the most serious charge — conspiracy to impede an officer of the United States, which carried a maximum sentence of six years in prison.