It was love

Naplesnews.com reports that:

The trial counsel in United States v. Piotrowski, ARMY 20010721, 2006 CCA LEXIS 487 (A. Ct. Crim. App. January 31, 2006) pet. denied 64 M.J. 430 (C.A.A.F. 2007).

He smashes into a car, killing a 24-year-old woman who is pregnant with her first child.

So a prosecutor steps in, ready to send the driver — an Army captain — to prison.

The prosecutor’s name is Louis Birdsong, also an Army captain. At this point, in April 2001, he does not know this case will lead to two different trials, one military and one civilian.

In between the two trials, Birdsong develops a friendly relationship with the driver’s recently divorced ex-wife. And three years after the trials, he marries her.

Now here’s an odd “quote.”

“After the courts martial proceeding, the prosecuting JAG officer contacted me and said he had just learned that because of (Piotrowski’s) status as a physician’s assistant, he was going to get more gain time (than) had previously been determined — he could actually serve five to seven years.”

Anyone with a minimal understanding of post-trial matters knows that automatic good time credits are based on the length of sentence, not the rank of the person sentenced; as are work abatement or extra earned good time credits.  So, did the civilian prosecutor hear wrong, or did the trial counsel misrepresent?  Piotrowski did receive credit for 117 days of pretrial confinement.

The complaint says Birdsong’s relationship with Rebecca violated ethical standards for lawyers. Birdsong sent the bar a written response, which includes a note about a detailed declaration he had written about the case for an appeal, in which he did not mention his relationship with Rebecca.

There is no mention of an IAC or conflict of interest issue in the ACCA opinion.