Stolen Valor Act struck down - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Stolen Valor Act struck down

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Yakima, WASH.--A 2005 federal law was struck down Thursday by the Supreme Court.

The Stolen Valor Act, an act which made it illegal to lie about military service and medals, was considered a violation against free speech.

Under the law people who were convicted of lying could serve up to a year in prison. But in a 6-3 decision, the case of United States vs Alvarez declared the act unconstitutional.

The case involves Xavier Alvarez, a former California official who lied about receiving the Medal of Honor. He was sentenced to three years probation and given a 5,000 fine. He appealed and won.

"Saying you earned a Medal of Valor in combat and you never even served is just wrong," said Bryan Gerken, president of Combat Veterans United. "There's a lot of guys that have died, a lot of guys that have tried...and there are guys out there posing to be something they're not.  It's so blatantly wrong."

Some veterans in Yakima say the Supreme Court made a mistake. They feel that without the act, politicians will lack accountability for what they say and do.

Veteran groups around the country are now fighting for a new law.