May 2, 2009

Ask that Cliff Cornell's sentence be reduced

While many of us are outraged that Cliff has been sentenced to 12 months in prison,  we need to work to reduce his sentence and remove some hidden penalties. If he chooses to live in the States after he gets out of prison, he will lose his right to vote. If he chooses to return to the community in British Columbia that nurtured him all these years, a felony conviction could greatly impair that possibility. Cliff's lawyer, James Branum, points out the difference even a one day reduction will have.
One year is the threshold for a military sentence to be considered a felony conviction in the US. "The law is hazy," Branum said. While in some states it's only considered a felony if the sentence is more than one year, "in many other states 12 months or higher is an automatic felony."

That would affect Cornell's right to vote. [READ MORE BY DARRELL BELLAART ]
Your letter to the Commander of Fort Stewart, Georgia requesting that Iraq War resister Cliff Cornell's 12-months prison sentence be reduced is urgently requested. 
Cliff was convicted of desertion on April 28, 2009 after being denied sanctuary in Canada. These letters of support will be collected by Cliff's civilian lawyer James Branum and submitted to the military through the official appeals process.

Address letters to: COMMANDER, Fort Stewart and fax to 866-757-8785. Please do not send letters directly to the CG but through Cliff's lawyer at the fax number provided.

Basic guidelines for letters:

Good points to raise:
  -Cliff's good character
  -The importance of acting upon conscience
  -The severity of the sentence, especially since a 12 month sentence is a felony in the US.

Things to avoid:
  -Partisan politics
  -Any attacks on the Army itself. For example, you can say the war is bad; however, but don't say the Army is an evil institution.
  -Letters should include the full name and contact information of the author, including e-mail.       (This is requested so that Cliff's lawyer can contact you if needed.)

Letters need to be received by May 31, 2009 so that they can be submitted as part of the formal appeals process.
-thanks to Courage to Resist.

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