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UNITED STATES v. GRIFFIN

March 18, 1971

UNITED STATES of America
v.
Marion Vaughn GRIFFIN


Van Artsdalen, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: VAN ARTSDALEN

VAN ARTSDALEN, District Judge.

 The defendant, Marion Vaughn Griffin, was tried before the court on March 1, 1971, on a waiver of jury trial. The charge is set forth in a one count indictment under 50 U.S.C. App. ยง 462 -- failing to perform a duty required by the Selective Service Act by refusing to submit to induction into the Armed Services. To this charge, the defendant is found "guilty".

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 1. The defendant first registered his SSS Form 100 with the local board on May 13, 1964. This form was returned to the registrant for completion and was subsequently returned to the local board on May 25, 1964. Also filed on May 25, 1964, was the defendant's SSS Form 150, claiming conscientious objector status.

 2. On July 15, 1964, the local board, without stating any reason, rejected the defendant's application for conscientious objector status and classified him I-A. The defendant did not contest his classification through the administrative procedures available. On August 16, 1965, the defendant was examined and found acceptable for service.

 3. On September 16, 1965, the defendant was ordered by the local board to report for induction on October 4, 1965, at Fairmont, West Virginia. The defendant reported for induction but refused induction stating, "I refuse to be inducted into the Armed Forces of the United States on the basis of my religion."

 4. After the defendant's refusal to submit to induction, the National Director of Selective Service, in his discretion, appealed the defendant's I-A classification to the Appeals Board. On May 19, 1966, the Appeals Board tentatively rejected the defendant's request for a I-O classification and requested that the Department of Justice give an advisory recommendation upon its review of the complete file.

 5. As part of the Department of Justice's review, a hearing was scheduled and on December 4, 1967, the defendant appeared before a Hearing Officer in Media, Pennsylvania. While the report of that Hearing Officer was not made part of the record, a memorandum prepared by the Justice Department (Conscientious Objector Section) contains an analysis of some of the pertinent findings of the Hearing Officer. This report, prepared on March 6, 1968, stated:

 
"The Department of Justice concludes that the registrant is not sincere in his claim and recommends to your board that his conscientious objector claim be not sustained and that he be not classified in Class I-0 or in Class I-A-O."

 This report was forwarded to the Appeals Board of the Northern District of West Virginia which subsequently rejected the defendant's request for a conscientious objector classification.

 6. On May 29, 1968, the defendant was ordered to report for induction on June 17, 1968. However, he requested transfer to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as a result of which on July 9, 1968, he was ordered to report for induction at 401 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 19, 1968. On July 19, 1968, the defendant again refused induction into the Armed Services. This refusal to be inducted into the Armed Services resulted in the present indictment for failing to perform a duty as required under the Selective Service Act.

 DISCUSSION

 The defendant contends that he is not guilty of the offense charged because he was improperly denied conscientious objector status. He alleges that the local board and the Justice Department refused the I-O status based on improper considerations. *fn1" Since the indictment arises from the defendant's refusal to be inducted on July 19, 1968, ...


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