Hamdaniya accused gets temporary reprieve

An accused has a limited right to counsel in the military.  A very common event for defense counsel is PCS, release from active duty, and orders to deployment.  Marine Corps Times reports:

A military appeals court has thrown out the 2007 conviction of a Marine infantry squad leader accused of murdering an innocent man in the Iraqi town of Hamdaniya.

Pvt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III, a former sergeant now serving an 11-year sentence in the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., will be released from confinement if the Navy does not appeal the court’s Thursday ruling, his attorney, Capt. Babu Kaza, told Marine Corps Times. However, Hutchins also could face a new set of charges if the Marine Corps wants to readdress his case.

In United States v. Hutchins, (en banc) decided 22 April, the court addressed the issue of a defense counsel who is voluntarily leaving active duty.

The court has reversed the conviction.  The next step is to see whether or not the Judge Advocate General of the Navy will certify the case to CAAF.

Off to court, more later.

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