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Conscientious Objector Sentenced to Six Months in Jail

September 09, 2003

21 year-old U.S. Marine reservist Stephen Funk was found guilty of unauthorized absence for refusing to report to his unit during the Iraq war. We speak with his lawyer Stephen Collier.

The first American conscientious objector from the Iraq invasion was sentenced to six months in jail by a military jury on Saturday.

21 year-old Stephen Funk was found guilty of unauthorized absence for refusing to report to his unit during the Iraq war.

He is the only one of 28 Marine conscientious objectors to the Iraq war to face prosecution. The military says that was because he was the only one who did not report for duty making it a simple case of desertion. But 21 year-old Funk says he was the target of unfair prosecution because he was a conscientious objector who spoke at antiwar rallies.

Funk also informed the military he was gay, but the presiding military judge forbade that from being an issue in the court-martial.

In addition to the six-month jail sentence, Funk will also receive a bad conduct discharge from the military.

  • Stephen Collier, lawyer for Stephen Funk the 20 year-old Marine reservist in California who declared himself a conscientious objector.

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