On Tuesday, in response to the hung jury in the Scott Warren case, actress Piper Perabo declared justice to have been achieved, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”:
“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Letter from a Birmingham Jail” #ScottWarren https://t.co/BsPLDefnCp
— Piper Perabo (@PiperPerabo) June 11, 2019
Warren, an Arizona teacher and immigrant rights activist affiliated with the group No More Deaths, was arrested in May 2018 and charged with conspiracy to transport and harbor migrants, because he was providing food, water, and shelter to two destitute people in the desert. He faced up to 20 years in prison for his actions.
Warren’s arrest sparked outrage nationwide, as he had not personally induced anyone to illegally cross the border and his only offense was helping people who were already in the U.S. survive deadly desert conditions. It did not help that his arrest came shortly after viral footage showed border patrol agents kicking over water jugs left to help hydrate migrants.
The jury was unable to reach a verdict after 15 hours of deliberations. Federal prosecutors have not yet said whether they plan to retry the case.
“The question of whether we stand with undocumented people and protect the basic tenets of a healthy society is for each of us to answer,” said Catherine Gaffney, another volunteer of No More Deaths, in response to the verdict.