Congratulations to the trial defense team of Col (Sel) John Baker, CDR (Sel) Jason Grover, and Capt Kelly Repair.

18 Responses to “BREAKING NEWS: LCpl Walker resentenced to confinement for life”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I wonder what Lance Cpl. Page and Lance Cpl. James think of the result.

  2. Counterpoint says:

    Who are Page and James? The victims? I guess it doesn’t really matter who they are…Walker’s counsel had a job to do and they apparently did it masterfully. And all defense lawyer bashing aside, I think any reasonable observer would agree that them doing their job to the fullest is a great thing!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know what they’d think, but I think there must have been some substantial mitigation information to make a military panel, not exactly a bunch of softies in our society, willing to give a sentence other than death.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Based on his duration of confinement since the initial trial, he should probably be eligible for parole since he was a pre-LWOP case. That is probably one of the reasons the many CA’s in the case never mitigated the sentence. Although it is unlikely a military death penalty recipient will ever be executed, it keeps he prisoners behind bars. Well done to the DC in this case, but it is hard to feel too good about one of the two architects of two premeditated murders potentially becoming a free man.

  5. Anonymous says:

    well do we have no confidence that parole will not happen except in the most extraordinary of circumstances? I mean one assumes unless he does a complete and sustained 180 and becomes a wholly different person at about 65 or 70, he will die in prison.

  6. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    Nice effort by LtCol Baker, LCDR Grover, and Capt Repair.

    Entirely off topic, but I must protest one of the most annoying things ever to creep into military lexicon: (sel).

    Ain’t no such rank. Period.

  7. John Baker says:

    Thanks for the congrats, what a great team to be a part of and what a blast to be “the leader.” We had so much support behind the scenes.
    Many thanks to:
    1) Our consultants and support staff: Staff Sergeant Jones, Corporal Foston, Jerry Waller, Dr Greiger, Nadine Mass, and Stuart James;
    2) Prof David Bruck and his Capital Case Clearinghouse clinic at Washington and Lee Law School, most particulary our interns- Bryan Hoynak and Eli Gottlieb who put in many a long night researching issues or writing motions for us – there’s nothing like sending out a request for research at 1700 and getting well written brief at 0330, and filing it at 0800 the next morning;
    3) Col Steve Newman – the Quantico SJA who ensured we were well funded, adequately trained, and always had an avenue to the CA when we requested it;
    4) CAAFlog;
    5) Dick McNeil (thanks for the initial pep talk!);
    6) LTC Eric Carpenter and the rest of the Kruetzer team (we plagerized your work product shamelessly);
    7) The Quintinilla and Murphy defense teams;
    8) The faculty at the Death Penalty College at Santa Clara Law School;
    9) Matthew Rubenstein, Chris Adams, and David Wymore for teaching us how to use the Colorado Method of voir dire;
    10) Our families;
    and many others who helped us along this journey.
    Semper Fi,
    LtCol Baker
    P.S. Concur with Cloudesley – I call a “colonel (sel)” a lieutenant colonel

  8. Jason Grover says:

    I completely agree, this was a team effort and no team had better teammates than LtCol John Baker and Capt Kelly Repair.

  9. Old 45er says:

    Memo to the Parker appellate defense team: Time for a supplemental pleading updating the sentence disparity argument.

    If Walker (the ringleader) gets life with parole, then if NMCCA approved death for Parker would render the sentence disparity aspect of Article 66 review utterly meaningless.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The word “Congratulations” seems utterly inappropriate in connection with a case involving the senseless murder of two innocent Marines.

  11. Phil Stackhouse says:

    Of course congratulations are appropriate in the work and effort and successes that John and his co-counsel had in the case – same would go for Bill and his prosecutors for obtaining a conviction in the case.

    It’s hard to understand the perspective of those that post when the postings are by Anonymous folks – be them victims or families, prosecutors, non-lawyers, etc…but I understand the cloak of anonymity and that it drives a discussion.

    That said, lawyers, especially criminal defense lawyers, have a difficult job every single time they step into a court-room – to zealously advocate for their client. Sometimes society finds the client the most repugnant soul to have walked the earth – but don’t bunch the attorneys that represent them into the same class and caliber as their client, ESPECIALLY appointed counsel.

    If you can’t congratulate an Appointed Defense Attorney for saving his client from the Death Penalty in a Legal Blog without getting your chops busted – where can you?

    Congratulations Defense team.

  12. Anonymous says:

    There are no winners to congratulate in this case.

    To think that the defense counsel here “saved” their client is the height of arrogance. How the members vote cannot summarily be attributed to the performance of defense counsel. I’ve talked to members who gave an accused a lesser sentence because they felt sorry for the poor representation he received at trial.

  13. Dwight Sullivan says:

    As much as I dislike getting into debates with anonymous commentators, I’ll make an exception in this instance.

    Those of us familiar with the Walker retrial know that his three extraordinary trial defense counsel saved him. And we know it was an incredible performance that other lawyers should envy.

    The notion that congratulations aren’t due when lawyers fight hard and win their case in an ethical, professional manner is absurd. LtCoi Baker’s, LCDR Grover’s, and Capt Repair’s military duty was to provide zealous and effective representation for their client. They performed that military duty about as well as possible and achieved success. And that is cause for congratulations.

  14. Anonymous says:

    As noted by the Supreme Court in US v. Cronic, 466 US 648 (1984), a defense lawyer is presumed competent to provide the guiding hand that the defendant needs.

    In any event, all parties should be congratulated for putting an end to what would have been many years of future, expensive litigation.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Just curious: would the same folks offering congratulations to a successful defense of LCpl Walker be as quick to congratulate the prosecution if they successfully advocated for a death penalty sentence?

  16. Anonymous says:

    While there is no denying that the defense counsel are good people and very good lawyers, there is also no denying the role that the military judge had in the sentence. He let in a letter from the former judge that basically said “don’t give Walker the death penalty” while excluding many damning pieces of evidence that rightfully should have been admitted.

    A sincere congrats to the defense team, but with the caveat that the sentencing playing field probably wasn’t as even as it could have been. (and I don’t say this to be critical of the MJ – I am not claiming that he abused his discretion or was unethical in any way)

    Disclaimer – I was not a member of the prosecutions, only a disinterested part time observer.

  17. Anonymous says:

    The former judge, Col Ken Jowers, is the one who gooned the case up to begin with. He had no business being detailed to a capital case. The Navy-Marine Corps Trial Judiciary got what it deserved. If you put the best trial judge on a capital case, maybe, just maybe, the case will be upheld on appeal.

  18. Dennis Tedder says:

    Anonymous – re Ken Jowers. You have no clue regarding Jowers and probably the UCMJ.