Sanderson Beck, an Ojai resident and author of several books on political philosophy, will not serve jail time for trespassing twice on federally restricted land during anti-war demonstrations at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Walsh gave Beck a six-month suspended sentence after a hearing at a Los Angeles courtroom Tuesday. On March 22, Beck allegedly crossed a line painted by Vandenberg officials as a boundary over which protestors could not cross without punishment. Two other protesters were arrested the same day for trespassing; their hearings are scheduled for June.

Two days after being released for his first arrest, Beck returned to the base and again crossed the line. Vandenberg security responded by arresting him a second time.

Although Beck could not be reached for comment on this story, he said in a letter to Walsh that he felt his actions were just.

“…The massive killings of Iraqi civilians and soldiers were serious violations of U.S. law for several reasons,” he said. “Since the U.S. was not authorized by the United Nations Security Council to invade Iraq nor was it self-defense against an immediate attack on the U.S. by Iraq, the U.S. invasion was clearly a crime against peace as defined by the Nuremberg Principles and a violation of the U.N. Charter.”

Beck said he was trying to rectify these wrongs.

“I went to Vandenberg to report those crimes and to try to stop them by peacefully making [officials] aware that the war is illegal, and that they did not have to obey the illegal orders of a criminal regime,” he said.

Beck said he believes he was wrongfully convicted and plans to appeal. Furthermore, he said Vandenberg officials should think about how his arrest will affect his candidacy for president.

“You may want to consider how it will look to the world to imprison a presidential candidate merely for pointing out the crimes of the U.S. president and those obeying [his] illegal orders,” he said.