On January 28, U.S. District Judge Charles Richey in Washington, D.C., sentenced four Peace Park vigilers to jail terms. He acknowledged it will not deter their conduct but hoped that it will deter others from engaging in similar protests. Two other men had been jailed in December for violation of camping and other anti-vigil provisions in Department of Interior regulations.
Vigil founder William Thomas and his wife Ellen had been convicted of camping solely on the evidence of having wrapped themselves in blankets during freezing weather. On January 28, Richey sentenced William Thomas to 60 days in jail, and Ellen Thomas, Phillip Joseph and Steve Semple to 50 days.
The four now lodge with the District's other caged guests, including Scott Galindez and Musser were sentenced in December to four months in jail for their vigilance along Pennsylvania Avenue, opposite the White House.
The vigil continues, with eight people still on the street. Supporters are encouraged to come, participate in the vigil, and sustainit in the event of more camping arrests. They estimate that if every peace group in the United States sponsored one person willing to vigil and risk jail, then they would fill the park and make the regulation unenforceable.