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Vermont on Both Sides of Nuclear Power

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As the judge thanked the jury for struggling with the case, he commented: "This has been a difficult trial with difficult issues of conscience" -- even if he hadn't allowed the Shut It Down Six to argue those issues conscientiously.   The judge also commented that: "There are certain criminal behaviors for which the criminal justice system is a pretty crude instrument." 

For all its relevance to serious, intractable public issues, substantive media coverage of this trial was largely limited to the Rutland Herald's Susan Smallheer and the Brattleboro Reformer's MikeFaher.  A brief Associated Press report with little context or detail was picked up by news media around the country

What the rest of the country learned was that the judge fined the women $350 each for trespassing.  What the rest of the country did not learn was that the Shut It Down Six told a reporter they wouldn't pay the fine, and that the prosecutor said that if they didn't pay, the matter would be turned over to a collection agency.   

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Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)
 

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