As we noted on Tuesday, here, the US Government has decided not to proceed with further appellate proceedings challenging the double jeopardy ruling of US District Judge Benjamin Settles in Watada v. Head, No. C07-5549BHS (W.D. Wash. Oct. 21, 2008). Some reports have said that Watada will not be retried, but without citing any evidence other than the withdraw of the appeal.
If you will recall, the trial judge ruled that the military could proceed to retry Lieutenant Watada on two conduct unbecoming charges, see order here. The court wrote that the government could re-try Watada on two conduct unbecoming charges that were dismissed “without prejudice to ripen into prejudice upon completion of trial proceedings.” Since the plea proceedings were never completed, the Court reasoned, there is no double jeopardy issue. See our prior report here.
Yesterday, according to the Honolulu Advertiser, here, a Fort Lewis spokesman said that leadership at Fort Lewis “is considering a full range of judicial and administrative options that are available, and those range from court-martial on those two remaining specifications, to nonjudicial punishment, to administrative separation from the Army.”
If anyone has any information indicating that the government won’t or will proceed on those charges, please drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[UPDATE: Just after posting I received an alert that quotes 1st Lt Watada’s lawyers as saying the Army won’t pursue additional charges, story here. If anyone can confirm that please let us know.]