Here’s a link to a report that the Judge Advocate General of the Navy certified NMCCA’s decision in Hutchins to CAAF on Monday.  We’ll look for that certification in today’s daily journal update.

The Assistant Judge Advocate General for Military Justice, Colonel Pete Collins, reportedly advised the Judge Advocate General against certifying the case to CAAF, noting that a certification “is unlikely to result in a positive result for the government.”  The article continues, “”The attorney’s conduct in this case was not in the best interest of the client,” Collins said in his written opinion. “The military judge failed to consider the issue. The facts are that the client lost a member of his defense team three weeks before his murder trial with no warning and no turnover to the substitute counsel.”

8 Responses to “Navy JAG reportedly certifies Hutchins to CAAF”

  1. Ama Goste says:

    From the Marine Corps Times: “If the court [CAAF} reinstates his conviction and sentence, Hutchins can appeal to the military’s supreme court.” Hmmm…methinks the military’s supreme court looks a lot like the civilian society’s Supreme Court.

  2. Edward Rooney, Dean of Students says:

    Also from the Marine Corps Times:

    [QUOTE]Defense attorney Capt. Babu Kaza is seeking the release of Hutchins, who has been serving an 11-year sentence. “This is a politically motivated abuse of the military justice system,” Kaza said. “Simply looking at the merits of the case, they don’t have a leg to stand on.”[/QUOTE]

    Ouch.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Any outcome at CAAF would be an improvement over NMCCA’s opinion left standing. I know understatement is always in order, but I hope Col Collins’s advice had more substance than what was reported here. Did he just list 3-4 truisms from the opinion and then conclude that appeal to CAAF wouldn’t “result in a positive result” for the gov. If so, maybe that’s why the JAG disregarded his “advice.”

  4. Cap'n Crunch says:

    @Anon 12:05 — except, of course, for the possibility of a more scathing rebuke of the military judge, more defined case law on presumed prejudice, and also cementing all of this down with the weight of CAAF precedent…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Collins’s advice was candid and correct to boot. The JAG did not certify because he thinks CCA got it legally wrong or b/c he thought Collins’s advice was flawed. He certified because the Marine Corps demanded that a shot be taken at having Hutchins reversed. If Hutchins stands, Marine JAs cannot be treated as fungible assets by manpower. And there is no way that Quantico is going to sit back and let that happen, at least not w/out a fight.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Kaza ought to be careful.

  7. Anonymous says:

    How often does the AJAGMJ internal memorandum get released to the media? One wonders if this is Collins taking a back-handed swipe since he was not named SJA-CMC or if Kaza, who has already stupidly commented to the media on the case, leaked it himself.

  8. Edward Rooney, Dean of Students says:

    Doubtful. AJAGMJ is a terminal/tombstone billet and Col Collins surely had to be aware of that when accepting those orders.