May 19, 2009

Urgent deadline for Cliff Cornell. You Can Help!

 Ask that his sentence be reduced 

Cliff's civilian lawyer, James Branum, will be filing appeal papers for Cliff Cornell. He is asking that people write letters of support requesting that his 12 month sentence be reduced. 

We think it is absurd that Cliff is facing prison time for refusing to fight in an illegal war. On top of that the 12 month sentence saddles Cliff with additional problems after he completes his sentence. Here in the States the 12 months  will count as a felony. This will prevent him from voting in some states. He seems like a man I would like to see at the polls. A felony conviction will also make it difficult for Cliff to return to his life and friends in Canada if  that is his choice. 

But mostly he doesn't belong in prison at all.

According to Courage to Resist:
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.

I hope you will make time to help Cliff by faxing a simple letter of support. Tell others about it. Even if they won't let him free of reduce his sentence substantially, a one day reduction saves him from a felony conviction.
(Cliff: sorry about typing your name wrong in the title. I don't know what I was thinking, but it's all better now)

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