Judge overturns convictions of border aid activists

Judge overturns convictions of border aid activists
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A judge has overturned the convictions of four women who left water and other supplies for migrants in the deserts of Arizona.

USA Today reported that the judge in Tucson, Ariz., reversed convictions for the four women, who are volunteers with a migrant advocacy group called No More Deaths and faced up to 6 months in prison and fines of $500.

U.S. District Judge Rosemary Márquez wrote that the government was stifling the women's religious beliefs by arresting them and charging them for providing humanitarian aid.

"Defendants met their burden of establishing that their activities were exercises of their sincere religious beliefs, and the Government failed to demonstrate that application of the regulations against Defendants is the least restrictive means of accomplishing a compelling interest," the judge wrote, according to USA Today.

No More Deaths celebrated the overturned convictions.

"The reversal of convictions is a victory for all people of conscience and righteousness who seek to end the death and suffering in the borderlands," a member of the group, Alicia Dinsmore, told USA Today. "People continue to die every day on Cabeza Prieta and we will continue to act on our moral imperative to do this vital work."