Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sgt Lawrence G Hutchins III should walk

We've covered Sgt Lawrence G. Hutchins III before.  Especially during 2006.

If you're late to the party, you can check out Tony Parry's August 2006 report entirled "Two Marines Admit Killing Iraqi Man" (Los Angeles Times).

AFP reports, "A U.S. Marine sergeant who was found guilty of murder in the 2006 death of an Iraqi civilian, only to have his conviction overturned, will face a retrial on the same charges, a Marine spokesman said on Monday."

Did he do it?

Personally, I think he did.

And I do believe the guilty should be punished.

But I also believe Hutchins should walk.

You don't get do overs in American justice.

We have a prohibition against double jeopardy -- meaning you can't be tried for the same crime twice.

Lt. Ehren Watada was the first and only officer to publicly refuse to serve in the illegal Iraq War.

I applaud him for that to this day.

But when he had his court-martial, I was more than fine with him being set free by any legal way possible.

Judge Toilet (John Head) saw the prosecution was losing and called a mistrial.  The case had started, there was no do over.  Eventually, Ehren would be able to walk because of the double-jeopardy aspect.

That's the way the law is.

If Hutchins is innocent or guilty no longer matters.

He was tried.  He was convicted.

The conviction was overturned.

(And if you examine the case you'll find that it was overturned over something used as evidence that Hutchins' attorney had objected to as early as the Article 32 hearing.)

The prosecution shouldn't get a second chance, sorry.

The justice system in the US is flawed.  Sometimes innocent people get convicted and sometimes the guilty walk.

But doing away with double jeopardy helps no one.

The government has unlimited resources.

If, with all that money, they can't make a charge or a conviction stick, either the case wasn't that strong or they're just not good at their job.

Regardless, it doesn't matter.

If they need practice, they can do all the pretend runs they want but they can't turn a US court -- civilian or military -- into a mock court in which they can try over and over until they get the results they wanted.

Hutchins has already served six years.

On an 11 year sentence.

It's a waste of taxpayer money to pursue this and it's also setting a dangerous precedent.

The judge that tossed out the conviction did so because the prosecution used something as evidence (over defense objection) that the judge says shouldn't have been used in the manner it was.

So the prosecution lost their own case.

They need to face facts and leave Hutchins alone.

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Angry Birds" went up earlier this morning.  After both morning entries are up, I'll change the time on Isaiah's comic to make it the top entry for the day until tonight's snapshot.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.