Edward A. French '54, a conscientious objector, was officially charged with violating the Selective Service Act yesterday, and indications were that French would probably get a lengthy prison sentence.
Maximum punishment if found guilty is five years and a $5,000 fine.
French was also invited yesterday by the Harvard Students for Non-Violent Action and the Peace Council to explain in an open meeting why he is a pacifist. The meeting is scheduled tentatively for October 15, the same day formal judicial process in his case begins.
In Federal District Court, French was formally served a warrant issued by his Oregon draft board, charing him with being a draft dodger.
French was granted a continuance until October 15 for a hearing. He will plead guilty and waive the hearing; two weeks later the Grand Jury will convene, but he will also skip that for the formal trial.
Trial will be held in about four or five weeks, and since he is going to plead guilty, all the judge will have to do is sentence him.
French said: "My lawyer informed me that there is no precedent for a suspended sentence. The chances of one are nil... there is no parole of any sentence lighter than one year and this will not in all likelihood be light."
French is a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, which is registered in some states as a legitimate pacifist group.