Friday, July 13, 2012

Stolen Valor McClanahan does something honorable

All of us get angry when someone is caught lying about being a hero. We got really angry when the Supreme Court ruled that lying about even this is covered under free speech. Richard David McClanahan was found guilty and sent to jail but after the ruling from the Supremes, giving him the chance to clear his record, he doesn't want it. He said "I'm not the victim here." WOW. He is doing something honorable now.

Stolen Valor Case Vet Doesn't Want Record Cleared
Jul 13, 2012
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
by Chris Vaughn

Federal prosecutors in North Texas used the Stolen Valor Act, a law recently declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, to prosecute exactly one person for lying about his military record.

The man, perhaps surprisingly, was a veteran, a sailor-turned-soldier who concocted a breathtaking series of tall tales of heroism and claimed a rack of medals supposedly earned in Iraq and Afghanistan, all to impress people in Amarillo. He became a frequent speaker at colleges, nursing homes and veterans events.

Richard David McClanahan served 30 months in federal prison for his lies, a lengthy penalty imposed because he also lied about his income to buy a pickup from a dealership. Now living in Fort Worth, the 34-year-old ex-convict has a chance to have at least part of his conviction overturned after the Supreme Court's decision.

But McClanahan said he has no interest in clearing his record.

"I have no desire to have my record expunged," he said. "I'm not the victim here. The law was put into place for a very good reason.

"I understand the legal reasons why it was overturned and have no doubt that it was the legitimate decision for the Supreme Court. But I respectfully disagree with the court's decision. I wish the law had remained to prevent people like me from making absurd statements."

McClanahan's case had nothing to do with the appeal that reached the Supreme Court, which involved a public official in California who falsely boasted that he had earned the Medal of Honor. That man, Xavier Alvarez, fought his prosecution on the grounds that the First Amendment protected his speech, even though his statements were lies.
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