Army releases soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord who wouldn't deploy
Pvt. Travis Bishop, an Army soldier who refused to deploy to Afghanistan, was released from confinement Thursday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord after getting three months cut off his 12-month prison sentence
Seattle Times staff reporter
Pvt. Travis Bishop, an Army soldier who refused to deploy to Afghanistan, was released from confinement Thursday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord after getting three months cut off his 12-month prison sentence.
The sentence was reduced following a clemency appeal that included more than 400 letters of support and complaints about Bishop's treatment at the base's regional correctional facility, according to James Branum, an attorney representing Bishop.
"Getting a quarter of a sentence cut off is huge," Branum said. "It rarely happens."
Bishop's concerns included an inability to have confidential calls with his attorney and having female guards watch him in the shower and bathroom, according to Branum.
Joe Kubistek, a joint base spokesman, say Bishop was treated fairly at the facility and given all the rights afforded to other prisoners. Bishop, 26, who had been stationed at Fort Hood, is in his sixth year in the Army.
While serving in Iraq, Bishop started asking questions about the war. He decided he would not make a second deployment to a combat zone in Afghanistan, according to Branum.
Bishop was not initially aware of the opportunity to file as a conscientious objector and did not file the documents to try to gain that status until after his deployment date, Branum said.
While confined, Bishop wrote dispatches in a "jailhouse blog."
"How long have we been 'protecting the interests,' of countries that don't want us there? Unacceptable," Bishop wrote in one posting.
Branum declined to comment Thursday. He is to make an appearance at Coffee Strong, 15109 Union Ave S.W., Lakewood, at 3 p.m. on Sunday
Bishop was court-martialed and is receiving a bad-conduct discharge, which will greatly reduce his military benefits. Branum said the bad-conduct discharge will be appealed.
Hal Bernton: 206-464-2581 or firstname.lastname@example.org