Yesterday we noted that the Senate Armed Services Committee has asked the DOD IG to look into the issue of appellate delay in the Department of the Navy. The Foster case figured prominently in the committee report’s discussion of the topic.
As we’ve previously discussed, Foster was confined for nine years for raping his wife until the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals finally decided his case and held that the evidence was factually insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he raped his wife. United States v. Foster, No. NMCCA 200101955 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. Feb. 17, 2009). The court also set aside the other findings of guilty in the case and authorized his retrial on those charges. The Marine Corps subsequently decided not to retry him.
Today, this week’s Marine Corps Times arrived at Casa CAAFlog, featuring a cover story on the Foster case. Don Lamothe, Road to Redemption, Marine Corps Times, July 13, 2009, at 22. The article includes some good news and some not-so-good news. In the good news department, Foster has been promoted to staff sergeant, has received about $275,000 in back pay (minus $90,000 in taxes), has gotten married, and will get to stay in the Marine Corps until he is eligible to retire as at least a staff sergeant. In the not-so-good news department, SSgt Foster hasn’t received the allowances he would have received had he not been convicted and confined and might not receive them at all, can’t be considered for promotion to gunnery sergeant yet–though he might have been eligible to compete for promotion to E-8 by now had he not been convicted and confined–hasn’t yet received all of the uniforms he’s required to have, and is growing impatient and critical. The article quotes Foster as saying that while his isn’t “bashing all Marines here, . . . I’m just disappointed with my unit and the way they’ve taken care of me.”
The article also reports that Foster “said he has been warned not to speak out publicly about his situation without permission, with several MobCom officers telling him it could be considered a challenge to authority and lead to court-martial.” MOBCOM’s spokesman says that “Foster hasn’t been warned not to speak with the media but ordered to use Marine public affairs when doing to to ensure the release of a ‘full and accurate message.'”