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President Kennedy Grants Clemency to Two Soldiers

Apr. 18, 1962 - Two Army Reservists charged with breaches of military discipline were granted clemency today by President Kennedy. The President announced at his news conference that he had asked the Army to cancel the court-martial of 24-year-old Larry D. Chidester, a National Guard private. The private had written his Senator a letter critical of Mr. Kennedy. “And in the same spirit of Easter Week,” the President added, he has directed the Army to remit the remainder of the jail sentence of Bernis G. Owens, a 23-year-old Reservist who had led “We want out” demonstrations. Mr. Owens had served 22 days of a 6-month sentence at hard labor.

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