St. Patrick's Four Protestor Sentenced

By Candace Chapman

July 22, 2010 Updated Jan 24, 2006 at 1:21 AM EDT

Daniel Burns of Ithaca is one of four people who poured human blood inside a military recruiting station in Tompkins County in March of 2003.

In a federal court in Binghamton, Judge Thomas McAvoy followed the maximum sentence recommended under federal guidelines.

Burns will serve six months each for damaging government property, entering a military station for unlawful purpose, and entering again after having been removed during another protest.

He will serve all three sentences at the same time.

"Dan thought he was gonna get six months. He wouldn't say otherwise. We were all hoping for less, but he kept saying, 'Oh no, it's gonna be six months,'" said Daniel's brother, Joe Burns.

Other members of the St Patrick's Four are now waiting to hear their fate.

"We do not regret having done what we did, we stand behind what we did, and we are not afraid of anything Judge McAvoy can dish out to us," said Peter DeMott.

Judge Thomas McAvoy talked about what he sees as an arrogant attitude and disregard for the law among the St. Patrick's Four.

He said protesting isn't a crime.

But, McAvoy said pouring blood inside a military recruiting station is a crime and said the St Patrick's Four should be punished.

Mary Anne Grady Flores used Rosa Parks as an example of why she believes they should not be punished.

"We just had one of the greatest civil rights leaders die this year. She broke the law to uphold the greater law. So he was wrong in that sense," said Flores.

Burns has a wife and two children who will be waiting for his release.
"I wish the judge had seen things differently, but despite this kind of turn of events, we're still committed to working for peace and justice," said Jessica Burns.

Daniel Burns will also pay one fine for contempt of court and a second fine for damages to the recruiting station.

The three remaining St. Patrick's Four members will also be sentenced this week.

Peter DeMott will appear in Federal Court in Binghamton Tuesday morning, Clare Grady on Wednesday morning, and Theresa Grady on Friday.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.