I am hereby going to discussabout the case on United States VS.
Fields, and will give my verdict on thiscase. This is the case which is related to the Stolen Valor Act whichconflicted with freedom of speech. This law prevents illegal wear, manufacture,or sale of any military decorations and medals. In addition, it is a crime tofalsely represent of receiving any military decoration or medal. If convicted,defendants might have been imprisoned for up to six months to one year. Abel fields falsely claimedthat he had received a purple heart while serving in the military. The PurpleHeart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President tothose wounded or killed while serving, on or after April 5, 1917. Abelfalsified the information that he served in the military.
The truth is that hehad never served in the military. The stolen valor act came into play in 2006.The act states that it is a crime to make false claims that you have receivedmilitary medals or awards. Since fields make a false claim, and he was foundguilty, he faced a year in prison. However, fields believed that he should notbe convicted due to the fact of freedom of speech. He claimed that hisimprisonment violated his First Amendment rights. Field’s prosecutor arguedthat Field has every right to freedom of speech.
His information has notdamaged anything. His false speech should be protected as long as it does notcause harm. If Field is prosecuted through Stolen Valor Act, it would set adangerous precedent for future laws. They added that false speech is protectedby the First Amendment, and the act is constitutional.In the precedent, New YorkTimes Co.
v. Sullivan and Texas v. Johnson both case was involved on thecontent of the speech which caused restrictions on free speech. In New YorkTimes Co. v.
Sullivan, the Court unanimously gave verdict in favor of thenewspaper saying that the right to publish all statements is protected underthe First Amendment. In Texas vs Johnson also, the court ruled that Johnson hadthe right to free speech when he burned his flag. Government does not haveright to restrict person’s speech regardless of the content. After reviewing carefully inthe case United States vs Fields and the precedent cases New York Times Co. v.Sullivan and Texas v. Johnson, I have reached the verdict that every personshould have right to speech as long as it does not harm anybody.
Therefore, AbdelFields be declared innocent and the fines and imprisonment have been droppeddown.