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Montana Men Sentenced to Wear Signs Admitting Lies

Two defendants who appeared in Judge Greg Pinksi’s Montana Cascade County District court received unique punishments as part of the sentencing phase of their trial. Their punishments involved wearing signs.

Back in 2017 and 2018, Ryan Patrick Morris and Troy Allen Nelson were in violation of their respective probations related to previous criminal offenses. They both lied to the court about having served in the military as a way of receiving lenient sentences for their previous criminal behavior.

Judge Pinksi sentenced Morris to ten years for felony burglary, and Nelson five years for felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs, both with years suspended. Morris and Nelson will be required to write letters of apology to various veterans’ groups as well as complete 441 hours of community service. This is one hour for each citizen of Montana killed in combat since the Korean war. Then, during the years of their suspended sentence, they’ll be required to spend each Memorial Day and Veterans day visiting the Montana Veterans Memorial. They are required to wear a placard that reads, “I am a liar, I am not a veteran. I stole valor. I have dishonored all veterans.”

Judge Pinski said, “I want to make sure that my message is received loud and clear by these two defendants. You've been nothing but disrespectful in your conduct. You certainly have not respected the Army. You've not respected the veterans. You've not respected the court. And you haven't respected yourselves."

Potential preaching angles: Lying places you into a trap. When you try to lie your way out of that trap, it only makes it bigger and stronger. The only way to be free is to tell the truth.

Source: Vanessa Romo, “Montana Men Who Lied About Military Service Ordered To Wear 'I Am A Liar' Signs” NPR (8-28-19)

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