Judge sentences three more FACE trial defendants in Tennessee – LifeSite

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (LifeSiteNews) — Three more FACE trial defendants were sentenced in a Nashville courthouse today, bringing to a climax what has been characterized as a “zealous prosecution and conviction by the Biden Department of Justice.”

Defendants Cal Zastrow, Coleman Boyd, and Dennis Green had faced up to a maximum of 10 1/2 years in prison and fines of up to $260,000 after being convicted in January of violating the FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) Act.

Yesterday, co-defendant Paul Vaughn — a pro-life father of 11 — was sentenced to three years of supervised release, avoiding prison time and offering a ray of hope among today’s co-defendants for sentences far less harsh than what other FACE trial defendants had been given this spring after their prosecutions in Washington, D.C.

According to the Daily Wire’s Leif Le Mahieu, who was at today’s hearings, dozens of pro-lifers, including many young families, gathered outside the courthouse to pray in support of the trio.

Zastrow, who was the first of the three to go before U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger, received a six-month prison sentence.

Boyd, a father of 12, was given no prison sentence but faces five years of probation, a $10,000 fine, and travel restrictions.

Green, a father of 13, also escaped jail time but was given three years of supervised release, including six months of home confinement that he’ll serve in his home state of Virginia.

A total of six pro-life advocates were convicted of federal felonies in January for violating the FACE Act during a 2021 peaceful protest at an abortion facility just outside Nashville, Tennessee, a clinic that has since been forced to stop providing abortions.

Pro-life “rescues,” of which there were many in the early days of the pro-life movement before the FACE Act became federal law, involve physically entering abortion centers and refusing to leave in an effort to convince women to choose life for their babies.

Videos and other recordings of the March 2021 protest show pro-lifers standing and sitting inside a hallway of the building, singing hymns, praying, and refusing to leave. Some of the pro-lifers sat in front of doors in a passive effort to prevent employees and patients from proceeding with abortions. On one occasion, the protesters attempted to engage an apparently abortion-seeking woman in conversation about the preciousness of her preborn baby.

Despite the peaceful, prayerful nature of the protest that day, prosecutors nevertheless alleged at trial in January that Zastrow, Boyd, and Green, along with three others, had “engaged in a conspiracy to prevent the employees from providing, and patients from receiving, reproductive health services,” according to a Department of Justice press release at the time.

“As part of the conspiracy, Zastrow, Boyd and Green traveled to the Carafem Health Center Clinic in Mt. Joliet, Tennessee from other states to participate in the clinic blockade,” while others “stalled the Mount Juliet Police Department through negotiations that Gallagher referred to as a delay tactic.”

“The Biden administration incarcerates people for praying at abortion clinics while ignoring violent acts at churches and pregnancy centers,” U.S. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah said on X at the time of their prosecution. “So many camels. So much obsessive attention paid to harmless things mistaken for gnats.”

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