We often here about instances of judicial overreach, but this is a story where the punishment most appropriately fits the crime and serves as a strong deterrent against those who claim valor falsely. The story comes out of Montana from KOAT detailing the sentence two men received. Despite being charged for other crimes, the conditions of parole demands the two felons to atone for their most taboo offense.
Two men from Montana have been sentenced to prison for violating the terms of their probation. However, neither will be eligible for parole until they fulfill the unique set of conditions set forth by a judge after they falsely claimed to have served in the military.
One of the requirements involves handwriting the names of 6,756 Americans who were killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
According to court documents, Morris was on probation for felony burglary after he stole items valued at less than $1,500 from his landlord’s garage. Morris was given 10 years in prison for violating the terms of his probation. He also falsely claimed to have served in the military.
Nelson, meanwhile, received five years for criminal possession of dangerous drugs, which is a felony. He was enrolled in Veterans Treatment Court before his deception was eventually discovered.
Both Nelson and Morris will be eligible for parole after they meet the conditions set forth by Pinski.
In addition to handwriting the names of the Americans that were killed, they must write the obituaries of the 40 Montanans who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The two must also send handwritten letters of apology to a number of veterans groups: the American Legion, AmVets, Disabled American Veterans, the Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Vietnam Veterans of America.
Finally, they must complete 441 hours of community service, which equates to one hour of service for each Montanan killed in combat going back to the Korean War.
Too often, it seems as though our appreciation for veterans is feigned or entirely emotive, disproportionately enthusiastic for how much people feel on a daily basis or used to elevate otherwise indecent people. These two men sought to take advantage of that, and got burned. If we want to know who really takes valor seriously in our culture, instead of focusing on politicians, look local.
This Montana judge dropped the hammer on these frauds in the most lex taliones way possible. In an age where many politicians feign enthusiasm for veterans, it’s great to see a local judge who shows some real reverence.
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