Marine appeals court-martial decision, cites religious freedom as basis for overturning conviction

Marine appeals court-martial decision, cites religious freedom as basis for overturning conviction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CAMP LEJEUNE, NC., June 5, 2015 – A Marine convicted of disobeying a lawful order and other offenses in relation to religious messages she had posted around her workplace has requested that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces review the lower courts’ decisions.  The request comes after a court-martial convicted Monifa J. Sterling resulting in her demotion and discharge for bad conduct and the Navy-Marine Court of Appeals denied her request for an appeal. Due to the type of discharge Sterling received, she is currently ineligible for veteran’s benefits and must inform potential employers about the terms of her discharge. If the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces declines to hear the case or rules against Sterling, her only other option would be to appeal the case directly to the United States Supreme Court.

The appeal involves the issue of whether Sterling refused to obey a lawful order when she refused to remove three signs that had religious statements on them that she had posted in her workspace. The signs read “No weapon formed against me shall prosper,” a statement that is derived from Isaiah 54:17, which states that “no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper.” Religious liberty advocacy group the Liberty Institute and Georgetown University Law Center professor and former solicitor general Paul Clement have taken up the case, arguing that Sterling’s conduct was protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a federal law that was enacted in 1993.

Attorney Richard V. Stevens is a former active duty military defense attorney who has been defending the rights of military members accused of criminal misconduct since 1995. He regularly travels around the  world to represent service men and women accused of a variety of crimes, including national security offenses, “war crimes,” drug offenses, sex offenses, military academy offenses, offenses involving senior officers, computer crimes, and others. To contact Mr. Stevens, call his office at 800-988-0602 or send him an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Contact:
Richard V. Stevens
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 800-988-0602
Fax: (703) 997-1367
http://militaryadvocate.com

 
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