Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Monday, February 4, 2008

Hated Nation: Federal courtroom becomes healing balm

By Brenda Norrell

TUCSON – The dialogue in a federal courtroom here evolved into a healing balm, revealing a nation, the United States, that the world has grown weary of, and a growing number of aging Americans willing to serve time in prison to expose the cancer within.
Torture was again on trial in federal court in Tucson Monday, Feb. 4. But in dialogue that surprised those that packed the courtroom, the healing remedy of grace and understanding were combined with wisdom and the spiritual foundation for a better world.
Two of the protesters of US torture arrived in court suffering from cold and sleep deprivation. Betsy Lamb and Franciscan Fr. Jerry Zawada, in prison awaiting trial, had spent the night in cold, bare holding cells. Those holding cells are where all inmates from the privately-run prisons in Florence wait all night before a court appearance.
Dressed in thin prison clothes in a cell without a bed, there is only a cold, stone floor to lie on.
Mary Burton Riseley, in a wheelchair and sick with the flu, appeared with fellow defendants Lamb and Fr. Zawada.
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