A federal appeals court ruled out a veteran’s conviction for wearing military medals he didn’t earn. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that wearing unearned military honors is free speech protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Elven Joe Swisher of Idaho was convicted of violating the Stolen Valor Act. Investigators looked into his military claims after he testified at the 2005 trial of a man charged with soliciting the murder of a federal judge. Swisher wore a Purple Heart on the witness stand. Prosecutors say Swisher enlisted in the Marine Corps a year after the Korean War ended but was never wounded in the line of duty.
Here’s a closer look at people who have lied about or embellished prior military service.Should individuals who wear unauthorized or unearned military medals be prosecuted? Here is a closer look at some individuals who were wearing medals they did not earn.