Articles Tagged with ptsd

The downloading of CP?

This local story from Virginia, which is headlined "Navy officer gets 40 months for child porn," reflects recent debates over both the federal child porn sentencing guidelines and showing leniency for those who served our country in the military.  Here are the details:

A Navy lieutenant commander who served in Iraq with an elite Riverine unit was sentenced today to 40 months in prison after admitting he downloaded child pornography. John J. Hall blamed his actions in part on post traumatic stress disorder, a claim that the judge in the case took into account in granting leniency.

As CAAFLog has pointed out, it appears that Major Hasan will be tried by media.

Someone at the National Capital Consortium, Psychiatry Residency Program, Walter Reed Army Medical Center has released a letter to the Credentials Committee.  No word on the WRAMC AR 15-6 into this unauthorized disclosure.

One of the common “defenses” raised at trial is that the accused is a "Good Soldier.”  Assuming evidence of this, usually through character witnesses and documents, the military judge is required to instruct the members that a “Good Soldier” defense can if believed and warranted be sufficient to create reasonable doubt at court-martial. reports:

Fort Hood massacre suspect Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan sought to have some of his patients prosecuted for war crimes based on statements they made during psychiatric sessions with him, a captain who served on the base said Monday.   (emphasis added)

Other psychiatrists complained to superiors that Hasan’s actions violated doctor-patient confidentiality, Capt. Shannon Meehan told The Dallas Morning News.

Who has the hardest job in the prosecution and defense of Major Hasan, by that I’m talking about the lawyers and the judge.

As many have already observed, the merits portion of Major Hasan’s trial at Fort Hood is likely a done deal, except for the potential mental health issues.  I would even argue that it’s not necessary to know why Major Hasan killed a lot of innocent people in a very public way.  There are 14 dead (I’m including the fetus) and a score or so physically injured.  There are witnesses and apparently the weapon(s) have been found.  The police officer who shot him can testify to chain of custody.  With that evidence presented to the Members, who needs to know his motive to convict.  A group of five to seven live witnesses can testify to victim impact, and have lots of letters standing by.  Perhaps get some making a very simple video statement.

The elephant in the room will be his motive regardless of any evidence that he was or tried to associate with terrorists.  With all of the media attention this case has and will continue to have, does anybody not understand and believe that regardless of what you tell the Members they will be thinking about what happened and why.  That means you don’t need to present evidence of motive.  Trying to prove Major Hasan is a terrorist or has terrorist ties isn’t going to aggravate the case any more than it is for a conviction and death penalty sentence.  And it’s a conviction and sentence that will stick and not having to spend a long time in appellate review that people want and need.

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