Here is a Fox News story about the not guilty verdict from military judge CDR Tierney Carlos in the second SEAL court-martial in Iraq.  SO2 Keefe apparently elected judge alone trial today.

Given the two not guilty verdicts, one by a judge and one by members, it is hard to predict what will happen in the SO2 McCabe case in June in Norfolk.  Different judge and different facts.  If the members questioned whether the assault occurred then SO2 McCabe probably has a decent chance at a not guilty verdict as well.  If the issue was whether SO2 Keefe or SO1 Huertas could have prevented the assault, well that’s a different story.  

For everyone’s sake I hope a certain segment of the media takes this for what it is, another not guilty verdict based on the facts.  If you’re the government you realize facts are imperfect and these results are the result of the process.  If you are the defense, you know that’s why you sometimes roll the dice and refuse Mast in a case like this and know you got your client a terrific result.  However, I wouldn’t rule out administrative action after the not guilty verdicts.   As counsel in a high profile Midshipman case, I can attest that sometimes its the administrative action that vexes your client.

15 Responses to “Military Judge Finds SO2 Keefe Not Guilty”

  1. Cheap Seats says:

    The admin actions are always the hard discussion. However, 1910-220 looks to prevent the adsep.

  2. Dew_Process says:

    So much for the UCI issue.

    Turning down the Masts took guts, but then again, they wouldn’t be SEALS if they didn’t have fortitude.

    It’s one thing for a CO to refer a case to trial after turning down a Mast, but let’s hope that their won’t be any “revenge” to the not guilty verdicts via ADSEP action.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Can you use the underlying conduct for which the accused was acquittted as a basis for separation in the Navy? Not in the Marine Corps.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Nope – see Cheap Seats’ reference to MILPERSMAN 1910-220.

  5. Mike "No Man" Navarre says:

    Adsep is only one of many tools (and the one with the most process before being implemented) of a commander to remove members he/she has lost confidence in. Review of security clearances, psychological fitness, rating removal, negative evaluations and a host of other administrative actions can be taken if their CO has lost confidence in them. Note, I am not suiggesting any of these are appropriate in these cases or will be used by in these cases. Just talking about possibilities.

  6. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    In No Man’s defense, his frame of reference for administrative action was a USNA case. USNA operates in its own universe with its own set of rules, unique and different from the rest of the Navy.

  7. Mike "No Man" Navarre says:

    Appreciate the support. My thoughts were wandering to far more benign (that’s not the right word, but you see what I mean from the above) forms of admin action.

  8. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    No Man,

    I see we posted at the same time. The “other” types of admin action you mentioned can be a wonderful tool for a commander who doesn’t want to wander down the court-martial road. You are right of course that they can be terribly vexing for the client. I recall one world-weary JAG describing the USNA system thusly: “The Commandant could wander out into T-Court at noon formation, point out a totally random midshipman, and under USNA regs, they’d find a way for the poor sucker to be gone by dinner.”

    The psych eval always has bothered me though, and I’ve always thought of such things as the refuge of cowardly commanders lacking leadership skills. Nearly every psych eval order I’ve ever seen was of the “if you disagree with me you must be nuts” variety that the governing SecNav Instruction is supposed to prevent.

  9. Mike "No Man" Navarre says:

    Ahhh but the psych eval for SEALs is an entirely different ball game. And what about the FOS charges that didn’t make it to court? Lying is not something the security clearance crowd takes lightly. Again, I am not endorsing just noting the proverbial fat lady isn’t quite on stage yet.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’ve had commanders kill the advancement opportunities of E-6’s who refused NJP and were acquitted by giving them the 3.0 Eval with sterile comments. Not adverse, but definitely an advancement killer.

  11. Ama Goste says:

    Don’t forget refusing to let them re-enlist. I’ve seen that used several times.

  12. Michael Lowrey says:

    That’s really not a Fox News story, it’s Fox News making use of an Associated Press wire service story. That may seem like a small difference, but in this case it’s a distinction worth keeping in mind.

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