The Draft: K.O. for Cass

The Houston, jury was out only 21 minutes—just three minutes longer than it took the defendant to become world's heavyweight champion in 1964. But this time there was no surprise at the outcome. Muhammad Ali, otherwise known as Cassius Marcellus Clay, 25, was convicted of refusing induction into the U.S. Army. At his request, sentencing was immediate: five years in jail and a $10,000 fine, the maximum penalty.

Clay had claimed that he was exempt from the draft because he was a minister of the fanatic Black Muslims. Yet in March 1966 he had proudly listed his occupation as "world's...

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