To update the No Man’s post from earlier today, the Fayetteville Observer reports here that the defense case-in-chief is complete and the prosecution won’t be presenting a case in rebuttal.  The current dispute is over whether the members should be instructed just as to premeditated murder (as the defense wants) or also as to unpremeditated murder (as the prosecution wants).

5 Responses to “Hennis findings case complete”

  1. Cap'n Crunch says:

    I know I already posted this…. but… How are the unpremeditated murder charges not barred by Article 43? The unpremeditated murder is not death eligible. Seems to me they can’t charge (or instruct over defense objection) the LIO, because the limitations period has run. Other thoughts?

  2. Dwight Sullivan says:

    Cap’n, that’s a very good point.

  3. Anonymous says:

    since we are reposting ;) I’ll ask the same question, Article 43 deals with what you are charged with, and in this case he is in fact charged with capital murder.

    Does that mean any of the LIOs of capital murder are in fact barred? I do think whether the ultimate answer is yes or no, defense counsel should make that argument as the judge just might bite off on it.

  4. Dwight Sullivan says:

    Cap’n, R.C.M. 920(e)(2) supports your position. That rule requires instructions on LIOs with an important exception: “(2) A description of the elements of each lesser included offense in issue, unless trial of a lesser included offense is barred by the statute of limitations … and the accused refuses to waive the bar.” See generally United States v. Thompson, 59 M.J. 432, 429 (C.A.A.F. 2004).

  5. 7-up says:

    The jury in the court-martial of Army Master Sgt. Timothy Hennis will have the option to convict him of unpremeditated murder.

    The judge, Col. Patrick Parrish, made the ruling this morning before closing arguments were set to begin at 9 a.m.

    The jury in the first trial was given the unpremeditated murder option. Defense lawyers in the current trial wanted it excluded from the jury instructions, citing a change in the law in 1986 that imposes a three-year statute of limitations on that charge. They wanted premeditated murder or not guilty as the jury’s only choice in the killings.

    But after researching the law, Parrish ruled the statute applied only to crimes committed after the law change took effect.