To paraphrase Lincoln, sometimes it is better to remain silent and be thought [guilty] than to speak and remove all [reasonable] doubt
As reported by today’s Washington Post, a court-martial panel at the Washington Navy Yard convicted Midshipman Kenny Ray Morrison of indecently assaulting a female midshipman. The members found him not guilty of sexual offenses concerning another female midshipman. The Annapolis Capital‘s web site reports tonight that the members sentenced him to confinement for two years and a dismissal.
But here’s what I find most interesting about the case. As this previous article from the Capital makes clear, Morrison took the stand but limited his testimony to one of the two alleged incidents. Interestingly enough, the members found him guilty of the offense about which he testified and not guilty of the offense about which he remained silent. This suggests that the members didn’t treat his invocation of his Fifth Amendment rights as a de facto admission of guilt. It also suggests that perhaps his testimony wasn’t very convincing.