serious problem in the case. The case was thoroughly contested as it went through the Local Board, the Appeal Board, the office of the State Director of Selective Service and the office of the National Director, and it is unlikely that anything would have been presented at a second personal appearance that had not already been presented with full emphasis on the important things to be considered. Consequently, it is unlikely that the error of the Local Board had any effect on the result of the case.
The right to appear personally before a local board is treated very seriously by the regulations. When a registrant makes a personal appearance before a local board, the Board must see that whatever new information it receives is summarized in writing and placed in the registrant's file. 32 C.F.R. 1624.2(b). If the registrant does not appear when he has been given an opportunity to do so this fact must be entered into the minutes of the Local Board. 32 C.F.R. 1624.2(a). After the registrant has made a personal appearance the Local Board must consider the classification problem anew and send to the registrant a written notice of the result of its new consideration of the case. 32 C.F.R. 1624.2(d). When a registrant is given a personal appearance this extends his time for an appeal so that the appeal time does not begin to run until the time when the Local Board makes a decision in reference to the reclassification problem created by the personal appearance. 32 C.F.R. 1624.2(e). If a registrant does not speak English adequately he may being an interpreter with him at the time of his personal appearance. 32 C.F.R. 1624.1(b).
It is important that a registrant be given an opportunity to appear in person before a Local Board. A pleader can almost always make a more effective presentation in the give and take of an argument in person than he can in writing. Many fine young men cannot express themselves well in writing, but they can do much better when they speak and are not so much concerned with their method of expression. It is particularly important that conscientious objector claimants be given an opportunity to appear in person. Their thoughts expressed in writing are often stereotyped and so subtle that they are very difficult to understand. Whether or not a registrant is truly a conscientious objector is pretty much a question of his sincerity, and sincerity, being a subjective problem, can be judged by a personal appearance better than it can by a written statement.
The defendant suggests a reason why in this case particularly he should have been given a right to a personal appearance when he requested it. The Federal Bureau of Investigation made an investigation in this case. The Hearing Examiner was given the F.B.I. report and summarized its contents in his report. The information in the F.B.I. report came from acquaintances and neighbors of defendant. Defendant was not given the right to examine the F.B.I. report. Because of the summary of the F.B.I. report in the Hearing Examiner's report defendant knows substantially what was in it. He admits that most of it is correct, but he now denies some of it, and much of it is damaging to him. He contends that if he had been given a personal appearance before the Local Board he not only would have given it new information (which is unlikely) but also he would have denied some of the damaging information in the F.B.I. report.
The failure to grant defendant an opportunity to appear personally before the Local Board was a substantial error which invalidated the induction. He was denied a substantial procedural right to which he was entitled under the regulations. United States v. Fry, 2 Cir., 203 F.2d 638; United States v. Stiles, 3 Cir., 169 F.2d 455. United States, ex rel. Berman v. Craig, supra.
And Now, March 30, 1954, in accordance with the foregoing opinion, defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal is hereby granted.