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UNITED STATES v. ADAMOWICZ

March 24, 1954

UNITED STATES
v.
ADAMOWICZ.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Campbell, District Judge.

The Government charges that the defendant was classified in Class I-A by a local board of the Selective Service System and ordered to report for induction into the armed forces of the United States. The Government further charges that the defendant knowingly refused to submit to induction at the appointed time. These charges were proved beyond a reasonable doubt at the trial, and the Government therefore asks that the defendant be found guilty of a violation of the Universal Military Training and Service Act, 50 U.S.C.A. Appendix, § 462. The defendant contends that his classification and the order which it supports are invalid, and has moved for a judgment of acquittal.

The defendant's Selective Service System file (Gov.Ex. A) indicates that on March 5, 1951, he was classified in Class 4-E, the Class then prescribed for registrants who were conscientiously opposed to participation in war in any form, including noncombatant service in the armed forces. On that date, three documents were in his file: (1) Selective Service System Form Number 100, the common classification questionnaire (Gov.Ex. A-1); (2) a letter written by the defendant to the local board (Gov. Ex. A-2); and (3) Selective Service System Form Number 150, a special form for conscientious objectors (Gov. Ex. A-3). These three documents contained the following information about the defendant's views toward participation in war:

In the classification questionnaire, Series XIV states: "Any registrant who, by reason of religious training and belief, is conscientiously opposed to participation in war in any form shall sign the statement below requesting a Special Form * * * from the local board." That statement was signed by the defendant. In answer to another question, the defendant stated that in his opinion he should be classified in Class 4-E or 4-F. The latter class is reserved for registrants who are physically disqualified for military service.

In a letter written to the local board on February 12, 1951, the defendant stated:

    "I am also applying for a conscientious objector's
  application. I have felt all my life that killing and
  murdering of any kind was an offense against God and
  our country. I have never seen why people go to each
  others countries and destroy homes, land, and
  families. * * * I have been guided by my own
  conscience in what I am doing, but I am following my
  brother, Edward Adamowicz' footsteps, who was sent to
  prison during the last war as a conscientious
  objector."

The last document before the local board on March 5, 1951 is the special form for conscientious objectors, completed by the defendant. This form propounds a series of questions relating to the objector's religious training and belief. This series, called Series II, first asks whether the registrant believes in a Supreme Being. The defendant answered, "Yes." The registrant is then asked to state the nature of his belief, and whether or not the belief involves duties superior to those arising from any human relation. The defendant answered: "I believe that my duties to the Supreme Being are above those to the State. I do not see no sense in war and conscientiously can not participate in it." The registrant is then asked to explain how, when, and from whom or from what source he received the training and acquired the belief which is the basis of his claim for exemption. The defendant answered: "My moral convictions have been a direct source of my acquiring a distaste for violence and war of any kind. I have further been inspired by my brother and some of his friends * * *." When asked to state the name of the individual upon whom he relied for religious guidance, the defendant stated: "I rely upon my inner inspiration." In another question, the defendant was asked to describe the actions and behavior in his life which in his opinion most conspicuously demonstrate the consistency and depth of his religious convictions. He answered: "Since I am but nineteen years of age I have devoted my life to my studies as well as on occasions worked evenings. But I have urged the President to issue a `cease fire' in Korea, recognize China, and grant them admission to the U.N." The defendant also indicated, again in response to specific questions, that he did not believe in the use of force, except to restrain "psychopaths," and that he has expressed his views to a few friends. When asked in Series IV of the form, if he was a member of a religious sect or organization, the defendant answered, "Yes", and when asked to state the name of the sect and the name and location of its governing body, the defendant answered: "Rome, Italy." The defendant also stated that he does not customarily attend any church.

On the basis of the information contained in the three documents, the local board decided that the defendant was "by reason of religious training and belief" conscientiously opposed to participation in war in any form, and, on March 5, 1951, classified him in Class 4-E. A few months later, on June 19, 1951, Section 6(j) of the Universal Military Training and Service Act, 50 United States Code Annotated Appendix, § 456(j), was amended materially. The amended Section, like the original, provides for two classes of conscientious objectors, one comprised of persons who object only to combatant service in the armed forces, and the other comprised of persons who object to both combatant and noncombatant service. The original Section provided for the deferment of persons in the latter class. However, under the amended Section, such persons may be ordered by their local boards to perform certain civilian work for a period of 24 months.

On December 5, 1951, the State Director of Selective Service System for Illinois advised all Clerks of the local boards that:

    "* * * the new Selective Service Regulations,
  issued pursuant to the 1951 Amendments to the
  Universal Military Training and Service Act,
  eliminate the former Class IV-E and establish a new
  class, Class I-O, for conscientious objectors who are
  available for civilian work. Registrants still
  retained in Class IV-E should therefore be
  reclassified and considered for the lowest class for
  which they are determined to be eligible * * *."
  (Gov.Ex. B).

Pursuant to these instructions, the Clerk of the defendant's local board mailed to the defendant another special form for conscientious objectors which was identical to the earlier form with one exception. The earlier form asked registrants to sign one of two statements — one statement recited that the registrant objected to combatant service, but would be willing to enter noncombatant service; and the second statement recited that the registrant objected to all service, and if the objection were sustained would be deferred under Section 6(j) of the Act. The revised form, mailed to the defendant in December, 1951, contained an additional clause in the second statement, which apprised the defendant that if his objections to both combatant and noncombatant service were sustained, he would be required to perform certain civilian work for a period of 24 months. The defendant deleted this additional clause, and signed the second statement; he thus indicated that he was unwilling to perform either military or civilian work. His answers to and comments upon the questions in the revised form were written upon separate sheets of paper, and, in commenting upon the alternative statements, he stated:

    "What kind of choice is that? You could just as
  well ask me if I wanted to be sent to prison or the
  army. Naturally I wouldn't want any of them * * *.
  Why should I be ordered to do anything? All my life I
  was under the impression that this was a free country
  where men and women were given the privilege to
  worship, speak, and do as they see fit morally
  right."

The defendant's answers to the questions contained in this revised form (Gov.Ex. A9) constitute the only relevant additional information presented to the local board between March 5, 1951, and January 7, 1952, when the defendant was classified in Class I-A. Indeed, the Chairman of the local board testified that the second classification is based completely upon information supplied in the revised form. It is, therefore, well to note the exact nature of that information, and the manner in which it varies from and elaborates upon information supplied in the earlier form.

The defendant was again asked if he believed in a Supreme Being, and again, his answer was "Yes". When asked to state the nature of his belief, and whether or not the belief involved duties superior to those arising from any human relation, the defendant answered:

    "Killing, looting, and raping are superior to
  problems arising from human relationship (War). Is it
  civilized to destroy personnel, property, human
  lives, and resources because a nation thinks
  differently? It is wrong for a man to steal,
  seriously wrong to kill a fellow neighbor, yet in ...

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