I have good news to report.
The commanding general at Fort Stewart granted Cliff Cornell a reduction of 30 days in his sentence in response to our 1105 Clemency request.
This is a huge development on two counts: (1) this will now mean that Cliff will NOT have a felony on his record (since his new sentence will be of 11 months, not 1 year), which will make it much easier to gain employment and to eventually return to his beloved community of Gabriola Island, and (2) 1105 requests are rarely granted!
On behalf of Cliff and those who care about him, I want to thank all of those who wrote letters on Cliff¹s behalf. I truly believe this is what made the difference. And especially want to thank the 40 or so folks who wrote from Gabriola and surrounding areas of British Columbia. Also huge thanks are due to Courage to Resist, Quaker House, the War Resisters Support Campaign, and Project Safe Haven for all of their work on this case.
I've talked to Cliff's supporters at Quaker House in Fayetteville, NC (they have been visiting Cliff pretty religiously - pun intended - while he has been at the Camp Lejeune Brig) and they are planning a celebration upon his release. As soon as I know more details, I¹ll let folks know.
For anyone who doesn't know Cliff's story, he fled to Canada to avoid an Iraq deployment due to reasons of conscience. After about a year, he established himself in the small community of Gabriola Island, in British Columbia. Cliff found a good job and a community that loved and supported him, but in the end the government of Canada decided to deport him anyway. I was his lead defense attorney when for his court-martial at Fort Stewart, where he received a 12 month prison sentence. Cliff has since been serving his sentence at the USMC Camp Lejeune brig.
Here, I wrote about Cliff's time in the brig.
We are all thrilled that James was able to secure this reduced sentence for Cliff, and we look forward to the day when Cliff is reunited with his beloved Gabriola Island.