On August 28, 2012, a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Alabama indicted Christopher Bernard Graham, 45, Huntsville, AL (a/k/a Christopher Harold Graham and Christopher Graham Lyndsey), with
Federal prosecutors charged that between October 1, 2010 and April 20, 2011, and then again between November 1, 2011 and April 1, 2012, Graham wore without authorization the U.S. Army Combat Uniform. During those same two time periods, the Indictment alleges that Graham also wore without authorization:
Finally, Graham is charged with possession of an identification card on August 14, 2012, that was illegally produced to appear as though it were issued under the authority of the United States.
NOTE: The charges in an Indictment are merely allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
If convicted, Graham faces the following maximum penalties on each count:
The Supreme Court recently held in United States v. Alvarez (US Supreme Court, June 28, 2012) that theStolen Valor Act of 2005 was an unconstitutional abridgment of the First Amendment. Consider the xcerpt below from the Court's Syllabus:
The Stolen Valor Act makes it a crime to falsely claim receipt of military decorations or medals and provides an enhanced penalty if the Congressional Medal of Honor is involved. 18 U. S. C. §§704 (b), (c).Respondent pleaded guilty to a charge of falsely claiming that he had received the Medal of Honor, but reserved his right to appeal his claim that the Act is unconstitutional. The Ninth Circuit reversed, finding the Act invalid under the First Amendment. Held: The judgment is affirmed. . .
The Government points to no evidence supporting its claim that the public's general perception of military awards is diluted by false claims such as those made by respondent. And it has not shown, and cannot show, why counter speech, such as the ridicule respondent received online and in the press, would not suffice to achieve its interest.
In addition, when the Government seeks to regulate protected speech, the restriction must be the "least restrictive means among available, effective alternatives." Ashcroft, 542 U. S., at 666. Here, the Government could likely protect the integrity of the military awards system by creating a database of Medal winners accessible and searchable on the Internet, as some private individuals have already done. . .
Also, visit this site for information on recipients of U.S. military awards for valor: http://valor.defense.gov/Home.aspx