In the spring of my senior year at the University of North Carolina (1969) I decided that I should resist the war and the draft and returned my draft card. At that point I do not recall that I even knew of the lottery. After graduation I entered the Teacher Corps for a short period and then entered Seminary. Both of these fields were exempt from the draft; but in my case all of this was not to avoid the draft, because I fully expected to be arrested at any time because of my non-cooperation.
While a student in seminary I was arrested and was allowed to return to North Carolina under my own recognizance to stand trial. The court-appointed attorney there thought that I should go to Canada, but I had no intention of doing so. I was to call the US Attorney when I arrived in NC. When I called him he seemed quite surprised to hear from me and urged me to just sign the forms and cooperate with the draft. "There is no way you could ever be drafted," he said, "Your lottery number is so high." But I refused and was tried and convicted on two counts of violation of the Selective Service System law. I was sentence under the Youth Offenders Act. It was used in the case of youthful offenders who they had reason to believe might never commit another crime. The sentence was "60 days to six years" at the discretion of the Parole Board.
I later learned that they routinely kept war resisters in prison for 18 months (the time they would have served in the Army). I was released after 19 months of incarceration in a Federal Prison in Petersburg, VA. A benefit of being sentenced under the Youth Offenders Act was that upon the completion of the sentence one’s criminal record was erased so that legally I can say that I have never been convicted of a felony. When I look back on that time I realize how naive I was in so many ways. But my path was a part of a journey which I cannot now at all regret.