Thank you to everyone here in this courtroom, you the jury, the people witnessing, the lawyers, the clerks, the district attorney, the judge, the marshalls, I trust that all of us are doing our best here. Thank you.
I want to take a moment to remember my father John Peter Grady.
Yesterday was the anniversary of his death, he died on October 23, 2002. He used to tell us kids how his third-grade teacher, Sister Rosario, would say “John, you are slow but sure”. Years later, some of his children and grandchildren would show the same slow but sure ways. We have learned that one of the things going on is dyslexia. In recent years people with dyslexia are not so much seen as disabled, but as differently-abled, and as such, are given accommodation of more time in taking exams, for example, so that they too can have a seat at the table. While the trial is coming to a close now, it feels important for me to say that the process here in this court has been SO fast at times, I could hardly keep up, and definitely could not fully participate. That has affected my part in the work of Justice here.
For hundreds of years, our system has relied on the wisdom and courage of jurors to do justice. I know you will keep your promise to do justice now that the case is finally in your hands. You and only you, not the judge or the lawyers, or anyone else can decide our guilt or innocence.
The prosecutor wants you to look at this case very narrowly and will tell you that you have no choice but to convict us. But that is clearly not the case. The judge will tell you to use your common sense and to search for the just meaning of words like “unlawful purpose” and “willful.” The jury’s role is to apply the law to the facts and to produce justice. We know you will not look at this so narrowly and we know you will never forget justice.
Your role as jurors is the most important role here. You are the triers of FACTS, TRIERS of the EVIDENCE in this case. It is my perspective that facts do not exist without CONTEXT. Facts are ALWAYS embedded in context.
You are the triers of fact, and as such, must ask “what is the context in which our actions were taken.” Mr. Knocchi spoke of laws about red lights, which I obey in the interest of protecting life, but even when it comes to obeying red lights, we must consider the context.
The Rev. Dr.Martin Luther King wrote, “There is nothing wrong with a traffic law which says you have to stop for a red light. But when a fire is raging, the fire truck goes right through that red light, and normal traffic had better get out of its way. Or, when a man is bleeding to death, the ambulance goes through those red lights at top speed . . . Disinherited people all over the world are bleeding to death from deep social and economic wounds. They need brigades of ambulance drivers who will have to ignore the red lights of the present system until the emergency is solved. [The Trumpet of Conscience]
The IMMEDIATE CONTEXT for the justice of our action is the omnipresent threat of nuclear weapons, the cocked gun held to the head of the planet. One of you thoughtfully asked about six submarines with Trident D5 missiles and how we know they are ported at kings bay. As you deliberate, please review the materials such as our statement, our trident fact sheet, and the indictment that we brought to help explain our sincere belief that we acted lawfully to prevent greater peril to all life on earth. It is our belief that Trident is the crime. During her testimony, Martha read from paragraph 5 of the indictment, look at that evidence when you go into deliberations.
Remember that there can be no Just verdict unless you consider the facts in context. And indeed, YOU the jury have the ultimate say, for whatever reason or passion you are the ONLY ones who decide what is a JUST verdict. I invite you to look at these elements in the context of a reality where nuclear weapons threaten each day to destroy life on earth.
As jurors, I encourage you to deliberate about the facts with your head and your heart. If you feel ordered to do your work as jurors without using your head and heart, consider the meaning of that.
If you feel forced to render a verdict that violates your conscience, ask yourself what kind of justice is that?
Consider that the most important quality and virtue needed by a juror to do their task is to be human.
Ask yourself if it is ever wise for humans to settle matters of BIG importance by separating our heads from our hearts. Or to decide grave matters without employing our conscience.
At this point, I would like to share a quote that my Goddaughter sent me. Each morning we share the daily bible readings and other reflections. This morning she sent me these words. I share them that they might move us with love and hope.
“For the hanged and the beaten. For the shot, drowned and burned. For the tortured, tormented and terrorized. For those abandoned by the Rule of Law. With Hope, because hopelessness is the new enemy of Justice,
With courage, because Peace requires Bravery. With persistence, because Justice is a constant struggle. With Faith because we shall overcome.”
In closing, I’d like to share the Serenity Prayer.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
May we all find courage to change the things we can
May we see our choices, and may our choices serve
Life, Love, Truth and Justice, for all of creation, hangs in the balance.