As the No Man discussed here, last week Judge Boyle of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina denied a habeas petition filed by retired Master Sergeant Timothy Hennis in an attempt to stop his ongoing capital court-martial at Fort Bragg.  (The No Man posted Judge Boyle’s ruling here.)

Hennis has appealed that ruling to the Fourth Circuit, where it’s been assigned case number 10-6400.  Hennis’s counsel also filed a motion for injunctive relief pending appeal, seeking an order from the 4th Circuit halting Hennis’s court-martial.  We’ve posted that motion and memorandum in support here.   Here’s the memorandum’s rather melodramtic conclusion:

Appellant has exhausted all of his available remedies in the military court system.  He has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under federal law to stop the military court from holding a court martial for which they have no jurisdiction.  This was denied.  At this point, only this court can step in, enjoin the proceedings, and make a determination if the district court was correct in its analysis.

If this court follows the District Court, Appellant will be forced to sit though a month long trial and if convicted follow the steps of the appellate process. Appellant is correct in his analysis of Hirshberg and he will eventually be vindicated.  Being right, however, is of no consolation if he is convicted and sentenced to death.

Fort Leavenworth is a cold, dangerous place housing violent military offenders.  Terre Haute holds only death.  At some point a jurist must look at the facts of the jurisdiction and determine that this court martial is a pointless endeavor as the military has lost all right to try Appellant.  If we are a nation of laws and not of men, this court can make that decision.

6 Responses to “Hennis files appeal; asks 4th Circuit to stop his court-martial”

  1. Anon says:

    “At some point a jurist must look at the facts of the jurisdiction and determine that this court martial is a pointless endeavor as the military has lost all right to try Appellant.” I’m pretty sure the military judge in this case considered this motion on the merits and rejected the arguments. I love the underlying assumption that a military judge is not a “jurist,” and that the legal ruling is only vindicated if a “real judge” makes a decision.

  2. Cap'n Crunch says:

    The reality is this: Hennis has 0 chance of winning in the conservative 4th Circuit — maybe if he were stationed out west, in the 9th. But not in the 4th. They will indeed hold that there is no irreparable harm and that case law commands deference to the military system.

    If I were representing Hennis, I’d have quoted Chief Justice Roberts about “rough justice” and such. I know how much everyone on this blog loves that quote.

  3. Socrates says:

    The Fourth Circuit is moving, glacially, to the center-right. Hennis has a 1 percent chance.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I vehemently disagree with your analysis. I think he has a 2 percent chance.

  5. Socrates says:

    That could be a rounding error.

  6. Right said Fred says:

    Those who think the 4th Circuit is still reliably “conservative” have never gotten one of the “liberal” panels…