No double jeopardy; legally and actually.

Sailor sentenced to 10 years in shooting

By Andrew Tilghman – Staff writer, Navy Times.
Posted : Friday Sep 4, 2009 17:02:14 EDT

A Virginia sailor who claimed he didn’t know his gun was loaded when he fatally shot his girlfriend in the head was sentenced to 10 years in prison Aug. 31.

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Darren Mackie, 22, was sentenced in a Newport News courtroom.

. . .

Trask’s mother told Navy Times she hopes the Navy will court-martial Mackie.  “Other sailors have been court-martialed for less. It’s the right thing to do. It’s a common-sense thing to do,” said Mary Trask of Massachusetts.

But a spokesman for Naval Surface Forces said Mackie’s command has decided not to seek a court-martial.

There is no double jeopardy had the Secretary of the Navy decided a prosecution was warranted.  You have two different sovereigns; the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States.

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2 responses to “No double jeopardy; legally and actually.”

  1. Mary T says:

    So only a administrative separation and other than honorable discharge? Military who commit DUI’s, drug charges and other petty crimes get a that! This sailor didn’t just hurt someone, he killed someone! And lied!! He deserves a court-martial and dishonorable discharge. The Navy needs to give justice to the victim and her family. This shows the Navy doesn’t care and shows other sailors that it’s ok. The Navy should be ashamed of themselves!!

  2. Phil Cave says:

    Ms. T:
    First, sorry for your loss.
    Yes, based on the current reporting it appears that the Navy action will be limited to ultimately issuing a OTH. Here is a link to Chapter 1900 of the Naval Military Personnel Manual. You will find the sections here that deal with AdSeps, reasons for AdSep, procedures, and criteria. You will see that a punitive discharge (such as a DD) is not an authorized administrative characterization.
    Section 0124, The Manual of the Judge Advocate General sets out the criteria that the Navy “evaluates” on whether to pursue a separate prosecution.
    You can find that publication here:

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