Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent [Haditha Marines]
NewsMax.com ^ | Jan. 12, 2007 | Phil Brennan

Posted on 01/11/2007 6:55:07 PM PST by RedRover

Anonymous Pentagon officials who are leaking incriminating information about the Marines accused of murdering Iraqi citizens in Haditha are depriving the accused of the presumption of innocence, attorneys for one of the Marines charge.

"We're very concerned about the leaks because we do believe that there is a concerted effort at least by a select few people within the Pentagon who seem to have decided from the comments we've seen, and our own conversations with reporters who have used these people as sources, that they have a personal agenda having decided in their own minds that these Marines are guilty -- and they want to make sure that the public knows that," Mark Zaid told NewsMax.com in an exclusive interview.

The four enlisted men charged with unpremeditated murder in Haditha are: Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich; Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz, 24; Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt, 22; and Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum, 25.

Zaid, who along with retired Marine Lt. Col. Neal Puckett, represents Sgt. Frank Wuterich, said he was deeply disappointed that information from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) report on Haditha had been leaked to the media, adding that it was an effort by unidentified Pentagon officials to show the Marines in a negative light.

In recent days, the world's media has cited leaks from the usual unnamed Pentagon sources, which lead to the allegation that the accused Marines, in addition to having allegedly murdered 24 innocent Iraqis, committed some of the most heinous atrocities -- including shooting at point-blank range an Iraqi youth as he stood with his hands up in surrender, and then urinating on his corpse.

None of the Marines has been tried and found guilty in a court-martial or even ordered to undergo a court-martial by a yet-to-be held Article 32 hearing that will determine if the evidence warrants a trial.

The latest spate of leaks concerns various photographs of the scene of action, obtained by the NCIS. It's been reported that some Marines took dozens of gruesome photographs of the 24 civilians who were killed in Haditha, Iraq, in November 2005.

According to the Washington Post the images -- which the newspaper says investigators tracked down on several Marines' laptop computers and digital drives -- provide visual evidence of a series of shootings outside a taxi and inside three homes that military criminal investigators have alleged were murders.

The fact is that nobody maintains that the deaths of the various victims were the result of anything other than hostile fire from the some of the Marines of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines present at the scene of action in November 2005.

Not surprisingly, defense lawyers for the four Marines who have been charged with murder in the killings say that it would be hard for the prosecution to prove anything based on the photographs alone.

Moreover, Marine Corps officials believe that many of the photographs -- which show the results of grenade explosions inside civilian homes and close-range rifle shots -- are inflammatory by their nature, whether or not a crime was committed. As a result, NCIS investigators have sought mightily to keep the photos out of public view.

Ed Buice, a spokesman for the NCIS, while saying that he could not comment on an open investigation, told the Washington Post: "NCIS strives to ensure the integrity of every investigation and finds the idea that someone might leak any of its investigative products to be deeply troubling."

Even more troubling are the conclusions drawn by a largely anti-war media based on the photos and alleged statements made by some of those questioned by NCIS investigators, a prime example of which is the following from the ultra-leftwing Web site The Peoplesvoice.org.

Under the heading "Worse than we were told," it was reported that "As bad as the things they told us about Haditha were, details emerging about what really happened are even worse. The attack on the Iraqis began after the roadside bomb blew up one of four Humvees the Marines were traveling in on Nov. 19, 2005. Minutes after that, the report portrays Sergeant Wuterich, the squad leader, and Sergeant Dela Cruz as killing five men who had nervously piled out of a taxi that had stopped near the Marine convoy, the officials said. The men ‘were shot by Wuterich as they stood, unarmed, next to the vehicle approximately 10 feet in front of him,' the report said, according to a person who has read it.

"‘Sergeant Dela Cruz said that as he approached the taxi, he saw some men standing near it with their hands in the air, officials said. After Sergeant Wuterich shot them, he continued shooting as they lay on the ground, and later urinated on one of them, an official said.

"‘But Dela Cruz is also quoted as confessing that he fired bullets into the five bodies as they lay on the ground and that he later urinated on one,' a Pentagon source is said to have claimed."

All this while Wuterich's squad appears to have been under insurgent fire.

The allegation flies in the face of the facts as previously reported by NewsMax.com New Evidence Emerges in Haditha Case that shows that within five minutes of the IED blast the Marines came under fire from insurgents. An intelligence source told NewsMax.com that immediate reporting over the radio revealed that a squad from K Company has come under IED attack and small-arms fire in Haditha. The neighborhood where the incident took place is a well-known insurgent stronghold, where as many as 50 IEDs were found previously, and from where, on two occasions previous to this, insurgents launched small-arms, RPG, and mortar attacks on K Company.

Within 30 minutes of the blast, and while the house-clearing was still under way, our source recalled that the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team that was en route to the site came under a small-arms ambush along the only route they could take to get there. This is a known insurgent tactic -- to ambush first responders.

Comparing his conduct and that of Puckett to the Pentagon leakers, Zaid told NewsMax.com: "When we talk to members of the press, we wear our agenda on our sleeves. We are the defense counsel, everybody knows that it is our job to have these individuals acquitted or otherwise obtain the best outcome possible. At the same time I think most of the reporters who know us know that we don't do anything to mislead them or lie or deceive them and we're very straightforward at to what we believe really happened. There is no one within the Defense Department except for the prosecutors who should have any agenda or role at this stage of the game." He said that it is not incumbent on anyone in NCIS or anyone else in the government to have an agenda. "Frankly I find it very disloyal and unpatriotic."

Addressing the current reversal of the doctrine of presumed innocence until guilt is proven, Puckett told NewsMax.com: "That's exactly our concern. We are going to be walking our individual clients into a military courtrooms sometime this year, and we would like for them to walk in under the presumption of innocence and then let the evidence be brought out and let's see what happens. But if everyone forms an opinion early that all the Marines at Haditha are guilty, that's very unpatriotic."

Addressing the statements allegedly given by some of those interviewed by NCIS, Puckett said "There's a lot of contradictions and sometimes even within individual statements there are contradictions. They will be interviewing one witness and he or she will change their story two or three times about what happened -- what they saw."

Said Zaid: "It seems like every time some piece of good information comes out supporting these Marines, someone leaks some bad information to counter on purpose. At best, [the information] is misleading, it's incomplete."

Pentagon leaks, however, are not the sole evidence that the doctrine of presumed innocence has been tossed overboard, NewsMax.com has learned . The Marine Corps has added to its training routine for Marines headed for duty in Iraq a required package of Rules of Engagement, Law of War, and counterinsurgency classes, on the topic "The My Lai Massacre and the Haditha Massacre: Common Lessons Learned," equating the incident in Haditha, where at most 24 civilians died, with the Vietnam War's Mai Lai massacre, where hundreds of civilians were deliberately murdered by U. S. Army troops.

According to one source, an instructor described as a Marine Corps lawyer speaking of the "crimes of Haditha" told his students that Mai Lai and Haditha resulted from "leadership failures, " leaving his Marine students with the clear impression that Haditha would live in infamy as a black mark on the history of the future Marine Corps, much as My Lai haunts the Army's history books today.

This is not the sole example of the presumption of guilt being applied to the Haditha Marines. NewsMax.com has learned that in the months since the Haditha allegations came to light, instructors in classrooms throughout the Marine Corps have been making references to the "Haditha massacre," their remarks usually laden with presupposition of guilt regarding the Marines involved. The speculation has consistently lacked the back-and-forth, two-sided debate of a typical unresolved issue, as Haditha is at this point.

According to our source, when the Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines left Iraq at the end of March, its Marines naively believed the praise heaped upon them by their regimental and division commanders for their heroic conduct. Their combat accomplishments, according to the most senior officers in Iraq, were the envy of many other battalions in country.

When the battalion returned to the United States, however, they were rudely awakened to the reality of their situation when their battalion commander and one of their most respected company commanders were suddenly relieved, not by their combat superior, but by the division commander who had remained stateside throughout their deployment, and who had little more than a few weeks of direct observation of their performance in Iraq.

Said our source, "All this is not to say that the consistent drumbeat of press coverage and politically opportune leaks from anonymous Pentagon staffers have not contributed to the prejudgment of the Haditha Marines. Those factors, though, are common to every question of guilt or innocence in accusations of military misconduct, and do not usually produce such unanimity of opinion among the Marines rank and file of their fellow Marines' probable guilt. The willingness of Marine Corps Training and Education Command to base its Rules of Engagement training for every battalion going to Iraq on an outcome that has yet to be determined is a clear indicator of what the Corps' leadership believes. Again: Every Marine going to Iraq is receiving this training, and is imbued with the idea that their fellow Marines are guilty of a gruesome massacre on par with the infamous My Lai.

"It is now 10 months since the first of several investigations was completed, and over a year since the incident itself. No charges have yet been proven, and evidence has yet to be reviewed by a military judge in an Article 32 hearing . Some of the Marines involved now languish in obscure administrative duties, their careers as Marines already ended. Many are, preparing to return, or have already returned, to combat duty in Iraq. All continue to serve faithfully, awaiting further action by a duly appointed judge or jury. While I continue to firmly believe that all will be acquitted, none of them will ever be truly exonerated. Their Marine Corps leaders have seen to that."

As retired Col. Ralph Peters wrote in the New York Post on Thursday: "To a soldier, the most encouraging thing the president said last night was that there had been "too many restrictions" on our troops in the past. Rules of engagement must be loosened. We have to stop playing Barney Fife and fight. And the president has to stand behind our troops when the game gets rough."

That should apply to the Haditha Marines, in spades.


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: defendourmarines; haditha
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-158 next last

1 posted on 01/11/2007 6:55:14 PM PST by RedRover
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: the mo; Tuscaloosa Goldfinch; fishergirl; TNdandelion; slipper; Eagles6; jazusamo; smoothsailing; ..

Let me or jazusamo know if you want on
the Haditha Marine Ping List.

2 posted on 01/11/2007 7:00:22 PM PST by RedRover (They are not killers. Defend our Marines.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RedRover

DISMISS THESE CHARGES PRESIDENT BUSH!


3 posted on 01/11/2007 7:13:50 PM PST by 444Flyer (SUPPORT OUR MARINES www.MarineDefensefund.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: RedRover
Pentagon leaks, however, are not the sole evidence that the doctrine of presumed innocence has been tossed overboard, NewsMax.com has learned . The Marine Corps has added to its training routine for Marines headed for duty in Iraq a required package of Rules of Engagement, Law of War, and counterinsurgency classes, on the topic "The My Lai Massacre and the Haditha Massacre: Common Lessons Learned," equating the incident in Haditha, where at most 24 civilians died, with the Vietnam War's Mai Lai massacre, where hundreds of civilians were deliberately murdered by U. S. Army troops.

According to one source, an instructor described as a Marine Corps lawyer speaking of the "crimes of Haditha" told his students that Mai Lai and Haditha resulted from "leadership failures, " leaving his Marine students with the clear impression that Haditha would live in infamy as a black mark on the history of the future Marine Corps, much as My Lai haunts the Army's history books today.

This is not the sole example of the presumption of guilt being applied to the Haditha Marines. NewsMax.com has learned that in the months since the Haditha allegations came to light, instructors in classrooms throughout the Marine Corps have been making references to the "Haditha massacre," their remarks usually laden with presupposition of guilt regarding the Marines involved. The speculation has consistently lacked the back-and-forth, two-sided debate of a typical unresolved issue, as Haditha is at this point.

Red, if this is true, it is the very definition of undue command influence. Under such a circumstance, I don't see how the UCMJ could allow the case to go forward.

4 posted on 01/11/2007 7:14:00 PM PST by smoothsailing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: All

Darryl Sharratt reads a U. S. Marine Corp press release that details the murder charge against his son, Marine Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt, prior to a briefing at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Thursday Dec. 21, 2006. Lance Cpl. Sharratt is charged with murder in the death of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha in 2005. Sharratt's mother, Theresa, and sister, Jaclyn, look on as Sharratt's father reads the charges that evolve eight Marines in all. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi).

5 posted on 01/11/2007 7:17:49 PM PST by RedRover (They are not killers. Defend our Marines.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RedRover

Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt on the streets of Fallujah, Iraq.

6 posted on 01/11/2007 7:19:50 PM PST by RedRover (They are not killers. Defend our Marines.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: RedRover

Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich poses with his wife Marisol Aura Wuterich in this 1999 photo.

7 posted on 01/11/2007 7:21:19 PM PST by RedRover (They are not killers. Defend our Marines.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: RedRover

We once put blinders on horses so they would only see what we wanted them to see..The British are back People...so is the Church of England..


8 posted on 01/11/2007 7:22:12 PM PST by silentreignofheroes (When the Last Two Prophets are taken there will be no Tommorrow!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

Lance Corporal Stephen Tatum

9 posted on 01/11/2007 7:23:05 PM PST by RedRover (They are not killers. Defend our Marines.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: RedRover

Unfortunately, guilty before innocent is how our military justice system works.


10 posted on 01/11/2007 7:23:37 PM PST by Lusis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 444Flyer

The president has no authority to dismiss the charges. He may, under article II section 2, pardon them under his presidential pardon powers. He may do so at any time before or after trial during his presidency.


11 posted on 01/11/2007 7:27:18 PM PST by tomcorn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: RedRover

A photo contained in a Naval Criminal Investigative Service report that was leaked to The Washington Post by a "senior defense official". It shows a Marine inspecting the blast crater from a roadside bomb that destroyed a Humvee and killed the Marine who was driving it in Haditha.

The "defense official" also leaked graphic photos of dead Iraqis that the Washington Post declined to publish. This means that there people in the DOD with even less scruples than the WaPo. Think on that.

12 posted on 01/11/2007 7:28:35 PM PST by RedRover (They are not killers. Defend our Marines.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: RedRover

Red. Go forward. (Right index finger in the air. Move it forward.) Round em up. (Right index finger in the air circling.) Hook em up. (Right hand in air. Texas Longhorn salute in reverse.) OORAH!


13 posted on 01/11/2007 7:29:21 PM PST by 444Flyer (SUPPORT OUR MARINES www.MarineDefensefund.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: smoothsailing; RedRover
Red, if this is true, it is the very definition of undue command influence.

Well said, Smooth.

This Phil Brennan is supposedly a veteran journalist and editor for NewMax. This is the most critical article I've yet seen on how the Corps, DOD and NCIS has handled this incident and I believe those of us that have followed this from the beginning can attest to it's veracity.

14 posted on 01/11/2007 7:29:27 PM PST by jazusamo (http://warchronicle.com/TheyAreNotKillers/DefendOurMarines.htm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: smoothsailing

To the cowards who hide behind the walls of the Pentagon, you are a disgrace to our Nation.


15 posted on 01/11/2007 7:30:22 PM PST by lilycicero (One falsehood leads easily to another.....Cicero)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: All
If you would like to help with the civilian lawyer’s legal fees for the
Haditha Marines you can do so by going to these sites.

Defend Our Marines

Marine Defense Fund


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

16 posted on 01/11/2007 7:30:59 PM PST by jazusamo (http://warchronicle.com/TheyAreNotKillers/DefendOurMarines.htm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: RedRover

A photograph taken by Marines in Haditha, Iraq, on Nov. 19, 2005, shows wreckage after a roadside bomb struck a U.S. convoy. This image was also leaked by the "senior defense official".

17 posted on 01/11/2007 7:31:11 PM PST by RedRover (They are not killers. Defend our Marines.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: tomcorn

PRESIDENT BUSH. UNDER ARTICLE II SECTION 2, PARDON OUR WARRIORS!


18 posted on 01/11/2007 7:32:11 PM PST by 444Flyer (SUPPORT OUR MARINES www.MarineDefensefund.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Lusis
It's not supposed to:

If you're unfamiliar with the UCMJ, I suggest you look up UCMJ Art.51 (c) (1).

The UCMJ at this stage of a case doesn't just suggest that the doctrine of presumed innocence be considered, it demands it.

19 posted on 01/11/2007 7:41:51 PM PST by smoothsailing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: RedRover

This is disturbing s#!t. Send money to the lawyers and spread the word.


20 posted on 01/11/2007 7:43:36 PM PST by Eagles6 (Dig deeper, more ammo.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RedRover

"The My Lai Massacre and the Haditha Massacre: Common Lessons Learned"

If there's any truth in this, I'd like to get hold of the numb-nuts who started this. The person or persons responsble should have their military career ended NOW.


21 posted on 01/11/2007 7:47:57 PM PST by USMCPOP (Father of LCpl. Karl Linn, KIA 1/26/2005 Al Haqlaniyah, Iraq)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: smoothsailing

So true. There's the "right way" and the "real way" (most things are done the "real way") and sometimes the "real way" is underhanded.


22 posted on 01/11/2007 7:49:04 PM PST by 444Flyer (SUPPORT OUR MARINES www.MarineDefensefund.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Lusis; smoothsailing
It's supposed to work like this...

“…the accused must be presumed to be innocent until his guilt is established by legal and competent evidence beyond reasonable doubt.”
-- Uniform Code of Military Justice, USC Title 10, Chapter 47, Subchapter VII, Article 51(c)(1)

23 posted on 01/11/2007 7:49:14 PM PST by RedRover (They are not killers. Defend our Marines.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Lusis

There has been no determination of guilt. In fact they haven't even been to an Article 32 hearing yet. within 120 days of been charged the prosecuting officer must bring sufficient evidence to the convening authority to proceed with the courts martial. It is the equivalent of a preliminary hearing in civilian courts.


24 posted on 01/11/2007 7:51:10 PM PST by tomcorn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: RedRover
Exactly.
25 posted on 01/11/2007 7:52:54 PM PST by smoothsailing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: tomcorn

We're all familiar with the racket after the Pendleton 8.


26 posted on 01/11/2007 7:54:34 PM PST by 444Flyer (SUPPORT OUR MARINES www.MarineDefensefund.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe; blue-duncan; Kolokotronis; jude24
Awesome article on the presumption of innocence.

Jude, pinged just for info.
27 posted on 01/11/2007 8:03:25 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it! Supporting our troops means praying for them to WIN!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Eagles6
Bump.

I spoke to Rick Borg of the Iraq Marine Legal Defense Fund today. He's amazed at what we're doing here, speaking up and getting the word out. Hope people are moved to help these Marines. It's down to folks like us.

28 posted on 01/11/2007 8:13:06 PM PST by RedRover (They are not killers. Defend our Marines.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: tomcorn

I'm not convisaying they're guilty, I'm just being cynical.


29 posted on 01/11/2007 8:15:30 PM PST by Lusis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: tomcorn

I understand that the accused can challenge the evidence at an article 32--unlike a civilian Grand Jury. Is that correct?


30 posted on 01/11/2007 8:16:14 PM PST by RedRover (They are not killers. Defend our Marines.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: xzins

Sad story. The lesson is that if you are receiving enemy fire from a house, don't go in. Just call in an airstrike and take out the whole block. I've never seen a bomber pilot court marshalled for causing a little collateral damage.


31 posted on 01/11/2007 8:17:43 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: 444Flyer

Back atcha!


32 posted on 01/11/2007 8:17:59 PM PST by RedRover (They are not killers. Defend our Marines.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe; jude24; blue-duncan; Kolokotronis; Thunder 6

The first to declare these Marines guilty was Murtha. It is his credibility on the line. Command influence = indirectly causing those who worry about higher to take actions that affect the outcome of a trial in the direction that the command desires.

Murtha is now the head of the Armed Services Subcommittee and controls the purse strings for the military. While he is not technically in the "chain of command" of these troops, he is in the immediate chain of influence over the entire military. And his credibility is on the line.

Those leaks from within the Pentagon could be designed to please him.

If convicted it will be impossible to ascertain if these troops received a fair trial. The leaks are evidence that this is not taking place. This case should be thrown out, or pardoned, or conducted in some creative way to assure that command influence is not in play.


33 posted on 01/11/2007 8:31:05 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it! Supporting our troops means praying for them to WIN!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: All

The picture posted with Darryl Sharratt looks like it was taken in the new TAXPAYER FUNDED $800,000+ Media center at Camp Pendleton(NC Times "Camp Pendleton setting up media center") that someone felt the need for back in July of 06' BEFORE any of these charges were brought forth on this case...is the amazing Kreskin at work here?


34 posted on 01/11/2007 8:33:35 PM PST by 444Flyer (SUPPORT OUR MARINES www.MarineDefensefund.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: 444Flyer

Murtha has the same amazing ability to see the future. He told us what the NCIS report would show--before it was written.


35 posted on 01/11/2007 8:48:50 PM PST by RedRover (They are not killers. Defend our Marines.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: RedRover; xzins
Okay, read the entire article and all posts up to now.

Surprisingly al Murthawi was not mentioned in the article and it took 33 posts before xzins said that al Murthawi was the first to declare them quilty. Of "cold blooded murder" no less.

including shooting at point-blank range an Iraqi youth as he stood with his hands up in surrender

ROE: If the shooter suddenly drops his weapon (after shooting at you) and raises his hands in surrender, you may not shoot him. He may also lower his weapon, turn his back to you, or run away. In any of these scenarios, he is no longer considered an imminent threat and you may not fire.

36 posted on 01/11/2007 9:00:20 PM PST by Just A Nobody (I - LOVE - my attitude problem! NEVER AGAIN...Support our Troops! Beware the ENEMEDIA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Just A Nobody; RedRover; xzins
This al Murthawi?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

37 posted on 01/11/2007 9:11:49 PM PST by smoothsailing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Just A Nobody

That's because command influence is a critical issue here.

The Roe's at the time of Haditha permitted blind firing through walls and blind grenades into rooms.


38 posted on 01/11/2007 9:18:01 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it! Supporting our troops means praying for them to WIN!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: RedRover

In an article 32 hearing a defendant can bring rebuttal witnesses but cannot introduce new evidence, either witness testimony or physical evidence.


39 posted on 01/11/2007 9:25:16 PM PST by tomcorn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Just A Nobody; xzins
Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) ART. 37. UNLAWFULLY INFLUENCING ACTION OF COURT
40 posted on 01/11/2007 9:25:31 PM PST by smoothsailing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: xzins

The problem for the majority of the defendants is the prosecutors have rolled two of the participants. HM3 Bacos ,the corpsman,and LCpl De la Cruz. The case will hinge on whether Bacos and Cruz testimony matches up with the physical evidence in contradiction to the other defendants statements.


41 posted on 01/11/2007 9:28:48 PM PST by tomcorn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: tomcorn

First I'd heard that they've rolled any of the Haditha group.

Even then, the battle will be over the evidence. While Cruz might have thought it wrong in retrospect to shoot the men in the car, it's possible that the NCO thought it was the right thing to do.

A roll must have some evidence other than opinion.

The innocent should not suffer. The guilty should not go free.


42 posted on 01/11/2007 9:35:43 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it! Supporting our troops means praying for them to WIN!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Lusis
guilty before innocent is how our military justice system works.

If that is true, then it is not a "justice" system, but simply a "legal" system. And we know how corrupt our legal system is.

43 posted on 01/11/2007 9:47:46 PM PST by Just A Nobody (I - LOVE - my attitude problem! NEVER AGAIN...Support our Troops! Beware the ENEMEDIA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: xzins

My read is the discrepancies between the official statements in the NIR6's and the documented physical evidence will be the key to the case. If Bacos and De la Cruz statements match up with the physical evidence then their accounts are substantiated for the jury. This will come at legal peril of the defendants if their statements are materially in conflict with the remaining defendants statements.

If substantive discrepancies arise in the prosecutions witnesses account of events and the physical evidence then the defendants will be exonerated this will be particualrly true if their account matches up with the physical evidence.


44 posted on 01/11/2007 9:48:19 PM PST by tomcorn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: smoothsailing

Yep, that fits!


45 posted on 01/11/2007 9:53:22 PM PST by Just A Nobody (I - LOVE - my attitude problem! NEVER AGAIN...Support our Troops! Beware the ENEMEDIA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Just A Nobody

Actually the UCMJ is more just in many areas than the civilians systems. Under the UCMJ a defendant can bring reputtal witnesses during his article 32 hearing ( this is forbidden to civilian defendants). The defendant is guaranteed that three of his jurors will be of equivalent or lesser rank. The downside is I don't beleive that a unamious decision is required for conviction except in capital cases. 7 or 9 jurors is sufficient conviction.


46 posted on 01/11/2007 9:54:03 PM PST by tomcorn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: smoothsailing

Thanks


47 posted on 01/11/2007 10:01:38 PM PST by Just A Nobody (I - LOVE - my attitude problem! NEVER AGAIN...Support our Troops! Beware the ENEMEDIA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: tomcorn
This portion of article 37 stood out when I read it:

No person subject to this chapter may attempt to coerce or, by any unauthorized means, influence the action of a court-martial or any other military tribunal or any member thereof, in reaching the findings or sentence in any case, or the action of any convening, approving, or reviewing authority with respect to his judicial acts.

I'm no expert whatsoever in matters of the UCMJ, but this appears to go directly to the new package of ROE and classes being taught that are referred to in Zaid's statement to Newsmax.

You appear to be well versed on this, what's your take?

48 posted on 01/11/2007 10:06:13 PM PST by smoothsailing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: xzins

My subjective impression is that once they rolled Bacos then they approached De la Cruz' attorney with Bacos statements and a chart of statement-physical evidence reconciliation. It was enough for De la Cruz's attorney to advise his client to cut a deal with prosecutors for a reduced sentence. Subsequently De la Cruz became a prosecution witness.

My guess is one or more of the defendants will cut deals. SSGT Wuterich however will be in a very difficult position.A senior NCO on the scene it will be difficult to negotiate a plea should he come to that decision. Most probably he will go to court martial along with the defendants unwilling to enter a plea agreement. That is the general pattern of these things.


49 posted on 01/11/2007 10:08:51 PM PST by tomcorn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: tomcorn
Thank you. I always thought this to be true, until the Pendleton 8, and more so the Haditha Marines.

After reading this article, especially these references...
an instructor described as a Marine Corps lawyer speaking of the "crimes of Haditha"
and the Marine Corps have been making references to the "Haditha massacre," their remarks usually laden with presupposition of guilt regarding the Marines involved

...it is no longer my first assumption.

50 posted on 01/11/2007 10:09:46 PM PST by Just A Nobody (I - LOVE - my attitude problem! NEVER AGAIN...Support our Troops! Beware the ENEMEDIA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-158 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson