Library - Reading Room
Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Bruce Peterson, Freed
Fort Hood...Bruce Petersen, victim of the heaviest sentence ever given out in the Army for possession of marijuana (.006 gram) walked out of Leavenworth military prison a free man last December.
There were political overtones to the case. Petersen was actively working with the Oleo Strut, Fort Hood's GI coffeehoouse, and was the editor of the Fatigue Press, Fort Hood's GI paper. The Army went all out to get him once it discovered what he was doing. Three times, he found little plastic bags of weed in his possessions on base, but was able to dispose of the evidence. Eventually the plant worked, even if only a microscopic trace of marijuana, and Bruce was busted.
A general court martial in November, 1968, sentenced him to 8 years and a Dishonorable Discharge. But last December, the Judge Advocate General's office overturned the conviction and sentence of the court martial, affirming that Peterson had been the victim of illegal search and seizure; that due process of law had been violated in trial procedure, and that when compared to sentences for similar offences, 8 years was “cruel and unusual” punishment.
Left Face, no. 5