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General cuts sentences of two imprisoned Marines (Hamdania)
San Diego Union - Tribune ^ | 8/7/07 | Rick Rogers

Posted on 08/07/2007 7:38:33 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

CAMP PENDLETON – A general has cut short the sentences of two Marines imprisoned in the Hamdaniya murder case and might do the same for two others.

Pvts. Tyler Jackson and Jerry Shumate Jr. were released Monday by order of Lt. Gen. James Mattis, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton. The base announced Mattis' decision Tuesday.

Jackson and Shumate had been sentenced to 21 months in the brig as part of pretrial deals in which they pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and conspiracy to obstruct justice. They were demoted in rank – from corporal to private.

In exchange, the government dropped the charge of premeditated murder, which would have sent the defendants to prison for life without parole if they were convicted.

Before Mattis released them Monday, Jackson and Shumate were scheduled to leave the brig as early as December.

Mattis took into account various factors, including “their military experience, relative rank and position of authority and their specific involvement” in the Hamdaniya case, according to a statement that Camp Pendleton issued Tuesday.

Jackson, Shumate, five other Marines and a Navy corpsman kidnapped and killed a man in Hamdaniya, Iraq, on April 26, 2006. They snatched the victim from his bed, took him to a roadside hole, bound him and executed him with a barrage of bullets.

Afterward, the squad tried to disguise the killing as a firefight between U.S. troops and an insurgent trying to plant a bomb.

The defendants said they partly wanted to send a message that insurgents and their supporters in Hamdaniya would pay a dear price. They had become frustrated after repeatedly arresting a suspect and turning him over to Iraqi authorities, only to see him released every time.

Five of the defendants finalized plea bargains with the prosecution, receiving prison terms of one to eight years. Four of them – Jackson, Shumate, demoted Pvt. John Jodka III and demoted Hospitalman Melson Bacos – had left prison as of Tuesday.

The remaining Hamdaniya defendants went through courts-martial. Two of them – Cpls. Trent Thomas and Marshall Magincalda – were demoted to the rank of private and released from the brig at the end of their trials. Each had spent about 450 days in prison by then.

That leaves two Hamdaniya defendants still behind bars: Pvts. Robert Pennington and Lawrence Hutchins III. Before the Marine Corps demoted them, Pennington was a coporal and Hutchins was a sergeant.

Pennington is serving an eight-year sentence and Hutchins, who oversaw the Hamdaniya abduction and killing, was sentenced to 15 years last week.

Mattis is considering whether to cut short the prison terms for Pennington and Hutchins, Marine spokesman Lt. Col. Sean Gibson said Tuesday.

Those defendants' attorneys and family members are asking Mattis to reduce the sentences.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; US: California; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: general; hamdania; imprisoned; marines; sentenced

1 posted on 08/07/2007 7:38:37 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: RedRover; RaceBannon; freema

Hamdania Marines ping


2 posted on 08/07/2007 7:39:28 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Welcome to FR. The Virtual Boot Camp for 'infidels' in waiting)
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To: NormsRevenge; jazusamo; Girlene; brityank

Great news, Norm!


3 posted on 08/07/2007 7:42:25 PM PDT by RedRover (DefendOurMarines.com)
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To: NormsRevenge

We know these guys just didn’t pick “a man on the street”. Since the jury wasn’t allowed to know who this “poor, crippled grandfater and former saddam policeman” was, will it be grounds for appeal?


4 posted on 08/07/2007 7:43:15 PM PDT by Eagles6
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To: NormsRevenge; RedRover; smoothsailing

Excellent news! Thanks for posting.


5 posted on 08/07/2007 7:44:59 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.com)
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To: RedRover

Excellent news! Now do the same for Pennington. Wait a couple of months, give Hutchins a break, also.


6 posted on 08/07/2007 7:55:00 PM PDT by Girlene
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To: NormsRevenge

It’s about time a real soldier steps in and takes care of these Marines. I’m sure command up line are horrified at what NCIS are doing to our warriors.


7 posted on 08/07/2007 7:55:43 PM PDT by shield (A wise man's heart is at his RIGHT hand;but a fool's heart at his LEFT. Ecc 10:2)
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To: RedRover; NormsRevenge

Thanks, Red and Norm; definitely good news — I hope that he also revises the sentences of Hutchins and Pennington.


8 posted on 08/07/2007 8:01:33 PM PDT by brityank (The more I learn about the Constitution, the more I realise this Government is UNconstitutional !!)
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To: NormsRevenge

I served under the General when he was a Major; I just knew he’d do the right thing.


9 posted on 08/07/2007 8:03:40 PM PDT by AngrySpud (Behold, I am The Anti-Chrust ... (I am Anti-Hillary))
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To: jazusamo

Yes, but remember that the top brass not only has allowed these combat Marines to languish under false charges but that they encouraged their prosecution by their MUTE actions. These Marine’s lives are screwed thanks to the wonderful PC Command, stemming all the way to the WH and the inablility to describe WHO THE ENEMY IS.

The USMC upper echelon apparently doesn’t have the gonads of a squirrel. That includes the Army as well and we have vested interests in our fighting soldiers (and Marines) over there, believe me, but I don’t grovel at the feet of high brass just because they have their “check-off” medals and service awards, witness the treasonous gaggle of Generals who have demoralized many with their anti-Bush, anti-war diatribes, oh that’s really great leadership, I’m truly impressed.

All this plus an almost impossible to follow ROE (rules of engagement), totally out of whack with reality which is also much of the problem in this war, which GOES TO THE TOP of the Corps (and the Army).

Oh, excuse me, IMHO...there. Now, pray for the Troops and may God Bless and protect them all.


10 posted on 08/07/2007 8:03:49 PM PDT by brushcop
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To: NormsRevenge

Great news!

Thanks for posting!


11 posted on 08/07/2007 8:09:32 PM PDT by Shelayne (I will continue to pray for President Bush and my country, as I am commanded to do by my Lord.)
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To: brushcop

Amen!

I agree with much of what you say. These Marines should not have been put through what they were put through and neither should the Haditha Marines.


12 posted on 08/07/2007 8:14:12 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.com)
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To: NormsRevenge
Mattis is considering whether to cut short the prison terms for Pennington and Hutchins, Marine spokesman Lt. Col. Sean Gibson said Tuesday.

As a reminder, the North County Times put out a poll with the question, "Do you support the murder conviction of squad leader Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins in the Hamdania case?" just after his conviction. Final Results were:

Yes 37 Votes(14%)
No, too strong 219 Votes(84%)
No, too lenient 6 Votes(2%)


So....I'm not suggesting Lt. Gen. Mattis do what's popular, but he wouldn't be "unpopular" if he reduced Hutchin's sentence. (Pennington, too!)
13 posted on 08/07/2007 8:16:48 PM PDT by Girlene
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To: Girlene; freema

Bump and ping...


14 posted on 08/07/2007 8:20:54 PM PDT by dcwusmc (We need to make government so small that it can be drowned in a bathtub.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Can the General commute the sentences of Ramos and Campeon? ... a few steps higher can.


15 posted on 08/07/2007 8:29:17 PM PDT by Mumbles (Because we disagree doesn't make you or me right. Treat each other with respect.)
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To: NormsRevenge

IIRC, Gen. Mattis is the one who said a few years ago that it feels good to beat up some terrorist guy who’s been beating on women and children. The left had its usual hissy fit, and I thought it was great. He’s my hero.


16 posted on 08/07/2007 11:31:21 PM PDT by hsalaw
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To: NormsRevenge
Everyone by now must realize, the do NOT do this to people who you had a case against!
17 posted on 08/08/2007 3:05:44 AM PDT by RaceBannon (Innocent until proven guilty; The Pendleton 8: We are not going down without a fight)
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To: shield; freelarryhutchins

This real Marine stepping in, is way too late.

These guys NEVER murdered anyone and should never have gone on trial.

The General knows this and has heard it from the family


18 posted on 08/08/2007 3:08:18 AM PDT by RaceBannon (Innocent until proven guilty; The Pendleton 8: We are not going down without a fight)
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To: Eagles6
Am I correct in my belief that this guy was a former Bathist who had been working with the terrorists on the planting of IEDs, and the locals were so scared of this guy and his buddies that they refused to do anything about him?

Or is my brain fried from just pulling a double-shift?

19 posted on 08/08/2007 3:22:44 AM PDT by Stonewall Jackson (The Hunt for FRed November. 11/04/08)
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To: NormsRevenge; 1stbn27; 2111USMC; 2nd Bn, 11th Mar; 68 grunt; A.A. Cunningham; ASOC; ...

I’m a loooooooooooooooooooooooooong way from satisfied, General Mattis. A long way. This only makes me more mad.

And while I’m at it, the poll at NC Times was based on the assumption of guilt.


20 posted on 08/08/2007 4:04:36 AM PDT by freema (Proud Marine Niece, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Sister, Aunt, Cousin, Mother, and FRiend)
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To: NormsRevenge
Mattis is considering whether to cut short the prison terms for Pennington and Hutchins, Marine spokesman Lt. Col. Sean Gibson said Tuesday.

Release them today.

21 posted on 08/08/2007 4:24:50 AM PDT by There's millions of'em (Dem Strategy = Flaws to applause)
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To: NormsRevenge

FREE them all now!!! It’s not ENOUGH that we ask these great warriors to go to battle to keep US free now we make them second guess their actions. No this is just wrong and these young men should be given medals not time in the brig and worse. A Marine mom


22 posted on 08/08/2007 4:59:24 AM PDT by cwcsunflower (Phil 4:13)
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To: Stonewall Jackson

The defense had evidence that a)the man was not who he was purported to be b)that he was a terrorist. The judge would not allow that evidence to be presented.


23 posted on 08/08/2007 5:15:52 AM PDT by Eagles6
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To: hsalaw
Deserves a picture...


24 posted on 08/08/2007 5:32:32 AM PDT by RedRover (DefendOurMarines.com)
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To: Stonewall Jackson

The man they were looking for was a former Baathist, and the name of the man provided for trial was a suspected insurgent.

However, due to the complete lack of forensic evidence taken, and the fact that when the body was sent to the US for autopsy it was missing it’s head and the body description didn’t match the ‘family’ description, they could no longer identify who it was, therefore there is no clue as to the body’s previous life.


25 posted on 08/08/2007 5:37:38 AM PDT by RaceBannon (Innocent until proven guilty; The Pendleton 8: We are not going down without a fight)
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To: NormsRevenge
From the North County Times Mattis frees junior Marines

...Mattis, who can shorten sentences but not increase them, freed Pvts. Jerry Shumate Jr., 21, and Tyler Jackson, 23, out of a sense of fairness, a military spokesman said Tuesday...

Whatever it takes. He is also considering shaving time off Hutchins and Pennington's sentences.

...The family of the 23-year-old Massachusetts native [Sgt Hutchins family] could not be reached for comment, but Brannon said Monday that they were meeting with Mattis to lobby for leniency.

Pennington's attorney, Carlsbad-based retired Brig. Gen. David Brahms, also declined comment Tuesday about efforts to have him freed early.

Pennington's mother said her family is "cautiously hopeful" his sentenced will be slashed.

"We have been praying for this for a long time," Deanna Pennington said....

26 posted on 08/08/2007 6:31:29 AM PDT by Girlene
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To: RedRover; freema
So lets see how close the good general will be up with them. At least he is moving in a general direction of having sentences dropped and jail time reduced for these Marines as well as those caught up in the Haditha charade.

27 posted on 08/08/2007 12:42:35 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Hunter in 2008)
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To: Eagles6
Since the jury wasn’t allowed to know who this “poor, crippled grandfater and former saddam policeman” was, will it be grounds for appeal?

Courts Martial do not have juries, they have panels, or simply "The Court". The Judge is not "The Court" as in a civilian trial. The board of officers, and enlisted in the case of an enlisted defendant who wants them, is the Court. The Court is also both prosecutor and defense, in that they can ask direct questions of witnesses, unlike the jury in a civilian trial. They are also the jury of course, since they determine the facts in the case and how to apply the laws and regulations to those facts.

28 posted on 08/08/2007 8:21:57 PM PDT by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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To: Eagles6
Since the jury wasn’t allowed to know who this “poor, crippled grandfater and former saddam policeman” was, will it be grounds for appeal?

Who was it that "didn't allow" the members of the court to know this?

29 posted on 08/08/2007 8:24:21 PM PDT by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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To: El Gato

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1865746/posts


30 posted on 08/08/2007 10:12:09 PM PDT by Eagles6
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To: Eagles6
Thanks, but the prosecution witholding what it knows is not quite the same as someone not letting the Court know or consider as evidence, something. Close but not quite the same.

However it's an even bigger no-no in a military court martial than in a civilian one. In a civilian one, the prosecution isn't supposed to do that, but the defense can. IIRC, even the defense isn't supposed to do that in a military trial, as the "theory" is that both side, and the Court, are looking for the truth on a much less adversarial basis than in a civilian trial.

Of course the problem is that the JAGs are all trained in civilian law schools, with supplemental training by the military, by other JAGs that is. Eventually the rot seeps through.

31 posted on 08/09/2007 1:32:37 PM PDT by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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