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US Army medic convicted of desertion for fleeing to avoid 'immoral' Iraq service

[JURIST] US Army Specialist Agustin Aguayo [defense website] was convicted of desertion Tuesday for fleeing a base in Germany to avoid redeployment to Iraq. Though the conviction could have carried as many as seven years in prison, Aguayo was only sentenced to eight months. At court-martial, Aguayo said he believed the war in Iraq is immoral and admitted to deliberately deserting to avoid serving there.

After spending 2004 in Tikrit, Iraq as a combat medic. Aguayo applied for and was denied status as a conscientious objector [National Registry for Conscientious Objection backgrounder]. On September 2, Aguayo fled through a window in his German barracks rather then face another tour of duty in Iraq. About three weeks later, he surrendered at Fort Irwin in his home state of California. Because he has already been in custody for 161 days, Aguayo could be released sometime in the next few weeks. AP has more.

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