Court-martial set for Army sergeant who refused Iraq redeployment

[JURIST] A US Army sergeant from Georgia faces a court martial [JURIST report] Thursday at Fort Stewart on charges of refusing to obey his redeployment order [JURIST report] and serve in Iraq after his first eight-month tour. The Army rejected a request by Sgt. Kevin Benderman [defense website] for conscientious objector status [DOD directive, PDF text] and charged him with deserting his unit and missing movement. If found guilty, Benderman faces up to seven years in military prison, possible demotion to private, and a dishonorable discharge. Benderman has said that the atrocities he saw during his first tour in Iraq left him morally opposed to the Iraq war, and he has spoken out repeatedly about the conflict and his decision. Read his columns,A Matter of Conscience [text], A Right to Life [text], and Why I Refused a 2nd Deployment to Iraq [text]. Benderman's case will be heard by a military judge sitting alone, not a jury of soldiers. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison. AP has more.

 

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