Skip to comments.General cuts sentences of two imprisoned Marines (Hamdania)
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.
Hamdania Marines ping
Great news, Norm!
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?
Excellent news! Thanks for posting.
Excellent news! Now do the same for Pennington. Wait a couple of months, give Hutchins a break, also.
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.
Thanks, Red and Norm; definitely good news — I hope that he also revises the sentences of Hutchins and Pennington.
I served under the General when he was a Major; I just knew he’d do the right thing.
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.
Thanks for posting!
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.
Bump and ping...
Can the General commute the sentences of Ramos and Campeon? ... a few steps higher can.
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.
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
Or is my brain fried from just pulling a double-shift?
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.
Release them today.
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
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.
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.
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.
Who was it that "didn't allow" the members of the court to know this?
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.