OZARK, Ala. (WDHN) — A former military major from the Wiregrass is continuing his fight to clear his name and get back some very important pieces of his life.
For the past six years, Major Clarence Anderson III has been fighting a conviction for a crime he said he did not commit. Anderson’s chances of clearing his name and getting crucial benefits back came close when President Trump took interest in the case; then the capital attacks happened in January and everything went silent.
Which is when he said Alabama Congressman Barry Moore’s office stepped in.
Anderson served in the military for a total of 18-years. He said it’s a sense of duty to make sure other service members are protected and know their rights. This is why he said he will continue to fight to clear his name and other wrongly convicted members.
“Initially, I was offered a pardon and I said respectfully no sir,” Anderson said. “A pardon is an admission of guilt. It doesn’t do anything as far as restoring my VA benefits or my military rank. I said respectfully can I get a new trial.”
According to Anderson, both Trump and Moore got involved because they saw evidence of misconduct in his case.
A statement released to WDHN from Congressman Moore’s office states:
“Major Anderson maintains his innocence in this matter and requested the congressman inquire with the Department of Defense to ensure that all laws and regulations are followed. Congressman Moore’s office has been in contact with the air force inspector general and is now awaiting a final response.”Bradley Jaye
Communications Director | Rep. Barry Moore (AL-02)
“To make it easier for Somali pirates in the Indian ocean to be extradited in the United States have more due-process rights,” Anderson said. “I think that is fundamentally wrong. As a service member, we don’t have a grand jury hearing, we don’t have a unanimous jury, so two-thirds can convict you, but everyone else gets a unanimous decision.”
Anderson said it’s not fair that service members put their lives on the line every day to ensure America’s freedoms and not have the same protections.
“We’ve got to bring back trust in the public,” Anderson said. “I think the number one way to do that is to take the jurisdiction authorities, as far as taking things to trial, take it away from the Department of Defense and give it to the Department of Justice, and I think that would make things better.”
Anderson said being from Ozark, he knows how supportive the Wiregrass can be. This is why he is asking the community to join him in his fight of clearing his name, so other service members don’t have to go through his struggle.
The U.S. Air Force is currently reviewing his case.