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Tennessee judge denies new trial for nun, other protesters who broke into nuclear plant

A judge has denied a new trial for a nun and two other protesters who broke into a nuclear weapons plant last year in Tennessee.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that U.S. District Judge Amul R. Thapar also ruled this week against a motion to acquit the three.

The defendants --Sister Megan Rice and protesters Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed -- were convicted in May of sabotaging the plant and damaging federal property at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge. They face up to 30 years in prison.

In his ruling Tuesday, Thapar concluded that the defendants are entitled to their moral opposition to nuclear weapons. But he says those "sincerely held moral beliefs are not a get-out-of-jail-free card that they can deploy to escape criminal liability."