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First Small Victory for Funk
I'm guessing the key will be that he's not only going to defend his position, but will be now asking for a hearing to analyze Marine records on the punishment of the other reservists.
Marine War Objector Wins Minor Court Battle In N.O.
Man Says He's Being Punished For Attending Anti-War Rallies
NEW ORLEANS -- A Marine reservist facing a possible court-martial for skipping prewar training in the fight against Iraq will be able to introduce evidence that he is a conscientious objector if he is tried.
A military judge made the ruling Monday in a preliminary hearing for Lance Cpl. Stephen Funk. The hearing will determine whether Funk is court-martialed in September or the charge is dismissed.
Navy lawyers had asked the judge to exclude evidence that Funk was a conscientious objector.
Funk's lawyer is trying to have the charge dismissed, saying that Funk is being selectively prosecuted. Funk is charged with "shirking important duty" instead of simply being Absent Without Leave. Defense attorney Stephen Collier says AWOL charges generally carry lighter punishment and do not require legal proceedings.
Besides asking for dismissal of the charge, Funk also has asked that the hearing include an analysis of Marine records regarding other reservists who went AWOL in the past year and how they were punished. A ruling on that motion is pending.
The hearing is expected to continue Tuesday, with a ruling likely on Wednesday.