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Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter Drops Charges Against Climate Change Activists10:15
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The Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset, Mass., is shown in this Wednesday, Oct. 23, 1996 file photo. National Energy & Gas Transmission Inc., the company that owns the Brayton Point power plant, is appealing an order from the Environmental Protection Agency on water the plant takes in and releases back into Mount Hope Bay. "We regret that there is no choice but to challenge some of the conclusions and requirements of the EPA permit for Brayton Point," the company's spokeswoman, Natalie Wymer, said Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2003. (AP)MoreCloseclosemore
The Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset, Mass., is shown in this Wednesday, Oct. 23, 1996 file photo. National Energy & Gas Transmission Inc., the company that owns the Brayton Point power plant, is appealing an order from the Environmental Protection Agency on water the plant takes in and releases back into Mount Hope Bay. "We regret that there is no choice but to challenge some of the conclusions and requirements of the EPA permit for Brayton Point," the company's spokeswoman, Natalie Wymer, said Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2003. (AP)

A very unusual turn of events happened Monday in Bristol County Court. Defendants John O'Hara and Ken Ward were scheduled to go on trial for using a lobster boat to block freighter loaded with 40,000 tons of coal that was bound for the Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset. It's a charge the climate activists do not deny. They would argue that the threat of global warming is so great, the two men had to act.

That's unusual enough. But then the bigger surprise came when Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter dropped the most serious charges against O'Hara and Ward. And, in front of a cheering crowd, Sutter said he agreed with the protesters.

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Samuel Sutter, Bristol County District Attorney. He tweets @DASamSutter.

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WBUR: Prosecutors Drop Charges Against Activists Who Blocked A Coal Freighter

  • "Several hundred activists crowded the Bristol County courthouse in Fall River expecting a trial that put the issue of global warming in front of a jury."

This segment aired on September 9, 2014.

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