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United States v. Camilo E. Mejia-Castillo

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Synopsis

United States v. Camilo E. Mejia-Castillo is a petition filed on Mr. Mejia's behalf requesting review by the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.  Mr. Mejia seeks reversal of his conviction, restoration of his rank, and backpay.

Status

On January 15, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces refused to hear the appeal.

Description

Camilo E. Mejia is a former Staff Sergeant with the Florida National Guard who, in 2004, after over eight years of military service and a five-month tour in ar-Ramadi in southern Iraq, became the first Iraq war veteran to openly refuse to redeploy.  Mr. Mejia based his refusal on his growing moral opposition to the war and to specific orders given to his unit involving the abuse of detainees.

As a result of his actions, Mr. Mejia faced a military court-martial and was charged with desertion with the intent to avoid hazardous duty.  On May 21, 2004, he was sentenced to 12 months in a military prison, reduced in rank from staff sergeant to private, and given a bad conduct discharge.  Mr. Mejia appealed the conviction and sentence to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, which affirmed both the findings and the punishment.

Press release issued August 6th, 2009 by CCR.

Timeline

The petition was filed on Mr. Mejia's behalf by CCR and co-counsel Font & Glazer, Citizen Soldier, and former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark on August 5, 2009.

On August 14, 2009, the Government did not file a formal response to Mr. Mejia's petition, but instead submitted the same brief it had filed previously before the Army Court of Appeals.

On January 15, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces refused to hear the appeal.