MSgt Hennis capital court-martial and more:

  • MSgt Hennis capital court martial testimony resumed at 1 pm today, coverage here.
  • According to local news reports, trial counsel and defense counsel (Charlie Gittins) in the alleged fragging (sort of) capital court-martial at Fort Stewart for Army Sgt. Joseph Bozicevich are asking for delays to Oct. 2010 and March 2011, respectively.  The military judge said she may tell both no, and be ready to go forward in June 2010.  Ft. Stewart local news coverage here and here.  Mr. Gittins must be splitting time between his witnesses in the SEAL cases and his client in Georgia, lots of airline miles.   Update:  The next Art. 39a hearing in the case is scheduled for Apr. 20, 2010 and trial is still set for Jun. 7-30, 2010.
  • Testimony in the Canadian “mercy killing” court martial continues, see CTV coverage here.
  • Accordign to the NYT, coverage here, Walter Reed Army Hospital is investigating, whether to recall to active duty a retired “former military surgeon [, Dr. Timothy Kuklo,] and Medtronic consultant accused of falsifying research about the benefits of a bone-growth product used on soldiers injured in Iraq is now under investigation for a possible court-martial.”  An Army investigation in 2008 accused Dr. Kuklo “of making false claims and forging co-authors’ signatures on a medical journal article about the use of a Medtronic bone-growth product called Infuse. He was also accused of overstating the benefits of Infuse, which was used to treat soldiers who had suffered severe lower leg injuries.”  According to the NYT, investigations into Kuklo’s conduct have already caused Kuklo to lose a “[Medtronic] contract . . .  that had paid him $788,000 over eight years. And Washington University in St. Louis suspended him from a tenured medical professorship and then agreed to his resignation. . . .Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is still investigating the matter . . .”

6 Responses to “Court Martial News Round Up”

  1. Cheap Seats says:

    I’m not capital qualified, but if the judge denies the Defense request for delay isn’t she just setting up another basis for appeal if death is adjudged? With the military’s track record in capital cases getting sent to rehearing, why insert that problem? Perhaps some of the great capital appellate attorneys will chime in…

  2. Mike "No Man" Navarre says:

    I’d be reluctant to say that any delay is too long in capital case preparation when I don’t know the facts, particularly where there are possible mental health issues. I will also, however, point out two facts, the acts occurred in Sep 2008 and the defense is asking for a one year delay. Note that no great capital appellate attorneys have chimed in yet, just adding a few facts.

  3. Cap'n Crunch says:

    There is already a CAAF case out on civilian counsel delays, U.S. v. Wiest — and I think the message of that case is, proceed carefully in denying a reasonable defense delay request (I would think that would especially be the case in a capital court martial). The MJ is certainly playing with fire in a capital case and setting up an issue that doesn’t need to be there if she grants the continuance (don’t know about prior delay requests, the reason for the delays, or prejudice to government). But some MJs are penny-wise and pound-foolish.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Seems to me that I agree a one year delay seems long, but still, it is a capital case and we don’t do those very well, sooooo, I dunno, might want to consider very strongly not denying any such request unless it’s downright an insane request.

  5. John Baker says:

    The last military death case bounced on appeal was Walker and it was bounced for …. an MJ’s failure to grant a continuance to allow the defense adequate time to work with their expert. That being said, do they really need a year?
    The news article also raises an ongoing military justice problem – the often lengthy delay between the CA approving an expert and the contracting folks finalizing the contract.

  6. Phil Cave says:

    Roger the contracting issue John. That often adds weeks to the time before the expert gets to work once approved and is a consistent problem that seems unappreciated by MJ’s. It’s not so bad if the expert is already registered and got his/her number in the system, but if they are new to government work and have to go through the processing of getting that number — weeks. This is hidden time which MJ’s either don’t understand or perhaps aren’t being told. Either way it’s the defense that gets forced to trial. Ugh.