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WEBER v. COMMANDING OFFICER

September 18, 1970

Joseph Franklin WEBER
v.
Commanding Officer, Captain Charles J. INACKER, 157th Infantry Brigade, Horsham, Pennsylvania 19044 and Secretary of Army and Secretary of Defense


John W. Lord, Jr., Chief Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: LORD, JR.

JOHN W. LORD, Jr., Chief Judge.

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 1. Petitioner, Joseph Weber, is a Private in the United States Army Reserves. He enlisted in the Reserves on August 26, 1968.

 2. Respondents are the civilian and military officials who have custody of the person of petitioner and who exercise control over him pursuant to their authority under law.

 3. On March 31, 1969, petitioner formally applied for discharge as a conscientious objector under Army Reserve Regulation 135-25.

 4. Private Weber was instructed in writing to submit to the unit commander supporting documents for his claim.

 5. In support of his claim petitioner submitted references from Stanley H. Shapiro, M.D., Michael P. Davis, William C. Soden, Jr., Dr. Mathew M. Shapiro and John D. Bowers.

 6. The reference letter of Stanley H. Shapiro, M.D. states in part:

 
"While I personally disagree with most of his religious beliefs and I am not myself a conscientious objector or pacifist, I have no doubt but that he is sincere in those beliefs which have led to his filing this claim." (Serviceman's United States Army Conscientious Objector Claim File, stipulated as record for this Court in hearing before this Court (hereinafter "Hearing Record") p. 23).

 7. The letter of Michael P. Davis states in part:

 
"* * * In my opinion, Joe's convictions are very strong. He believes in what he is doing with all his being. He is as sincere, dedicated and intelligent as any young man I've ever had the pleasure of associating with. * * *" (Hearing Record, p. 26).

 8. The reference letter of William C. Soden, Jr. states in part:

 
"* * * If I were in Joe's position, I would be satisfied with being a member of the reserves. However, the sincerity and intensity of his beliefs, which I find unquestionable will not allow him to participate in even this role which is far from active duty. His unflinching willingness to accept the consequences of his inability to enact violence or assume a role in compliance with such violence is, I believe, a testament to his sincerity." (Hearing Record, p. 27).

 9. The reference letter of Dr. Mathew M. Shapiro states in part:

 
"I have discussed with Joseph his beliefs that lead him to claim the status of conscientious objector. I do not myself share these beliefs. I have attacked them and listened critically to his defense of them. He sincerely believes that he does not have the right to kill another human being for any reason. * * *
 
* * *
 
"If a sincere, religious belief in nonviolence, and leading a life which in action exemplifies this belief, are the requisite qualifications, then Joseph Weber qualifies for the status of ...

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