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Judge Rules in Favor of Conscientious Objector

A San Diego federal judge has ruled a Camp Pendleton Marine Reservist should be discharged from duty as a conscientious objector. It’s the first time the court in San Diego has overturned the Marine

Judge Rules in Favor of Conscientious Objector

A San Diego federal judge has ruled a Camp Pendleton Marine Reservist should be discharged from duty as a conscientious objector. It’s the first time the court in San Diego has overturned the Marine Corps’ decision to deny an application for conscientious objector status. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

San Diego resident James Janke says he’s returning to Camp Pendleton this morning to hand in his gear. He joined up as a Marine reservist in 2001. But in 2003 his father died. That experience made Janke re- think his values.

James Janke: It just made me realize the impact that a persons’ life can have on somebody and hearing some of the marines who had already been to Iraq made me realize that I couldn’t be a part of taking lives that I felt were so valuable, you know. 

Janke applied for conscientious objector status. The Marines denied it. Janke then  fought for it in court. More than two years later, Federal Judge Napoleon Jones has ruled in Janke’s favor. It’s possibly the first successful petition for conscientious objection in the current war. Alison St John, KPBS News.