Note to file. Don’t spend time gossiping with Dwight while burglars are having their way in your house. It’s not helpful or conducive to a good day and it interferes with blogging. Second note to file: send thank you to ADT (a la USAA) for an efficient alarm system, and note of thanks and donation to the APD Patrolman’s Benefit Association.
Anyway, back to LTC Lakin.
I told Dwight that a minor nit was LTC Lakin and his counsels’ failure to stand when first addressed by the military judge. I have the client stand on the “are you . . .” in all cases and its de rigueur in Navy and Marine Corps cases. It’s a minor sign of respect to the court. Anyway, at the time it was just a bit of post-Lakin gossip for Dwight. But then I chanced to look at the photograph on APF along with the fund-raising plea. LTC Lakin is probably lucky the SGM wasn’t around with a Taser complaining about a poor example to the enlisted personnel. I know, I know, it’s a nit. But I did not see a “No cover area” sign around outside the (now temporarily housed in a warehouse) court-room. BTW Fort Meade courtroom is a lot more professional looking and much more space for a gallery.
Oh right, the Taser. Quite a few security related personnel and chasers were present thereby helping to “fill” the rather small court-room. Yes, the court-room was packed! 10 on the back row, 10 on the front and a number of strap-hangers by the doors. About 50/50 civilian and military. I did have something of a rueful moment when one of the media appeared to count me as a Lakin supporter.
I don’t know if a Taser is an authorized personal protection device carried by MP’s. I don’t recollect seeing that in the normal course of business and don’t recollect seeing any that day. But I wasn’t looking and I sold my TASR shares a long time ago.
Whether an escort brings the accused to court seems to differ and be a matter of discretion within the Army. Did an officer case last week where there were escorts present but the client was allowed to travel to and from the courtroom unescorted. I have another case where the client comes escorted; but that probably relates to his being in PTC for 118(1)(3).
Technically wouldn’t LTC Lakin be authorized mileage for self travel to Fort Belvoir? Not sure about the distance rule. If entitled to mileage, and if the escorts and bailiffs have to go anyway, why not put LTC Lakin in the car or van with them and save some government funds? If further proceedings are to be at Fort Meade that seems further cause to reduce costs by shoving the escorts, bailiff, and LTC Lakin in the same care or van? MAJ Kemkes could possibly hitch a ride. Of course Mr. Jensen would be prohibited by law from traveling in a GOV. Oh my goodness, another cause for concern? Mr. Jensen should be happy they haven’t deployed LTC Lakin to Afghanistan and held the trial there.
I have no idea whether LTC Lakin was threatened or allowed to overhear some inappropriate jocularity is unknown to me.
On the media access issue I note that the prosecution did not ask the military judge to place a gag-order on the trial participants. Whether one was warranted or would have been issued is a separate question. To me I see a legitimate command interest in preventing LTC Lakin or any accused making public media appearances in uniform and during the duty day. I see little difference between his situation and regulations on political activity while in uniform. If he wants to continue to confess in public, continue to provide evidence of intent, and provide potentially aggravating evidence of his contumacy isn’t that his decision – just not in a military sponsored forum like court-martial proceedings during the duty day while in uniform? Although I continue to wonder why a competent defense counsel would not be doing everything possible to silence the client.
Well after that meandering response to several questions back to reality.