Library - Reading Room
Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
8 Years For Grass; 6 Months For Murder
At Ft.Hood, Texas, the military court system must feel that a marijuana bust is 12 times worse than a bust for murder; at least this opinion has to be reached after hearing the following two cases:
Pvt Bruce Peterson, better known as the Gypsy, former editor of Fatigue Press, GI paper at Ft. Hood, twice got busted for alleged possession of pot. On Aug. 23, 1968, he was arrested with five other people., while driving a friends car. They were stopped on the basis of supposed information passed to the Killeen, Texas, Police Dept. by the Dallas Bureau of Drugs and Narcotics Abuse that the car had been used for the transportation of drugs. The owner of the car was not questioned and the other 5 people in the car were quickly released. Only the Gypsy was held for questioning.
2 weeks later, he was picked up by the police in front of the Oleo Strut GI Coffee House for being a "suspicious person". The reason given and accepted at the trial for his arrest was that he had "bushy hair, dirty sneakers and a mustache". Then, because he was a known drug user (remember he had been accused, but not tried two weeks earlier) he was searched by the pigs. The lint from his pockets was sent to the MP center at Ft. Gordon and he was held on $25,000 bail. Naturally, the civilians and the brass had been together on the whole thing and his case was turned over to the military.
The law clearly states that without any. evidence there cannot be a trial, much less a conviction. Yet, in Gypsy's case, this didn't seem to matter. Mysteriouly, the so-called marijuana in the lint of his pockets was destroyed in the process of analyzing it. The "quantity of marijuana" was so small that it all was destroyed and NOTHING WAS LEFT AS EVIDENCE
Unhampered by such small considerations, the Army sentenced him to 8 years confinement at hard labor, a DD, and forfeiture of all pay and allowances. His sentence was graciously reduced to a mere 6 years upon review.
On Sept. 3, 1968, PFC Bernard A. Robinson, Co. A, 518th MP Bn, was derelect in the performance of his duties in that he knowingly and wrongfully consumed alcoholic beverages while on Military Police Duty" and while under the influence of alcohol "by wrongful negligence did unlawfully KILL SP/4 Sam Widington, Jr. Co. A, 518th MP Bn, Ft Hood with a projectile from a .45 caliber pistol". On these charges, he was found guilty and sentenced to confinement at hard labor for 6 months and forfeiture of $65a month for 6 months.
Fun Travel Adventure, no. 11