We’ve been following the case of Sgt Hutchins, whose conviction was thrown out in an en banc NMCCA opinion holding that one of his military defense counsel had improperly withdrawn from his case.  That decision has been certified for review by CAAF.  Here’s a link to a North County Times article about Sgt Hutchins’ experiences since he was ordered released as the result of an IRO hearing in the wake of NMCCA’s ruling.

17 Responses to “North County Times piece on Sgt Hutchins”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Cute pictures.

  2. Late Bloomer says:

    If it’s rehabilitation we seek, then I say we’re there. Leave him be.

  3. Presley O'Bannon says:

    It’s always interesting to see the human face. I have to admit that I usually give in to the temptation to just see an appellate case as simply the legal issues being raised on appeal, as opposed to a human story.

  4. Cap'n Crunch says:

    Assuming CAAF affirms (and I suppose that they will), the government has essentially put the Sergeant on the payroll for yet another year or a year and a half. I don’t know when he enlisted, but lets say he enlisted in 2000 or 2001. Lets say we don’t get a CAAF decision until late 2011. He’s probably eligible for a promotion to E-6, he’s entitled to E-5 back pay, and he has 11 years TIS.

    I’m not downplaying the severity of the allegations, but if the government’s intention is not to retry the case if they lose on appeal (which appears to be the case), then it seems to me that they should cut their losses now and admin discharge this guy versus a longshot CAAF appeal.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, why bother retrying someone who kidnapped, tortured and murdered an innocent civilian, then covered it up and lied about it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    because he’s already served four of eleven years.
    because with good time credit those eleven years are probably more like eight or nine years.
    because of a little something called cost benefit analysis.

  7. Anonymous says:

    cost=the price of a court-martial
    benefit=preventing a kidnapping, torturing, lying murderer from serving less than half his sentence and walking away without a conviction
    Tough call

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’m as defense-minded as they come, but if the command truly believes that he committed murder (or the evidence is strong that he did), then I’d say you pretty much have to re-try him.

    Now if they determine it isn’t worth re-trying, then don’t see why you chapter the guy. If you think he is guilty try him, otherwise, let him go, the whole give him a chapter thing is weak splitting the baby in this situation (may have been a poor choice of euphemisms there).

  9. Anonymous too says:

    Anonymous does not seem to be well acquainted with the facts of this case. Misrepresentation is not usually the refuge of the right.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’m not familiar with the kool-aid many here consume. Facts are stubborn things; most here don’t know anything about the facts yet purport to make informed comments. It’s always entertaining though.

  11. Late Bloomer says:

    I’m not familiar with the kool-aid many here consume. Facts are stubborn things; most here don’t know anything about the facts yet purport to make informed comments. It’s always entertaining though.

    Which facts? The facts in Iraq? 0r the facts at Camp Pendleton?

  12. Snuffy says:

    What? There is kool-aide here?

  13. Look, pal says:

    I’d like to get a straightforward version of the facts before I weigh in on this issue. Enough with the punks who can only snark. Give me some straight facts, and I’ll let you fine folks know what’s up.

  14. Southern Defense Counsel says:

    Gosh I hope it’s Purplesaurus Rex.

  15. Anonymous too says:

    Anon 1108/1210/1453: given your tone and intimation that you are in true possession of the “facts” (unlike the Kool-aid drinkers), I am going to assume that you were one of the original TCs on the case, or at least a TC groupie.

    So perhaps you could answer some questions? You allege that Hutchins kidnapped and tortured an Iraqi? Well, wasn’t he charged, inter alia, with assault, housebreaking and kidnapping? Care to enlighten us as to whether he was found “guilty” of those charges? I’ll save you the trouble: the members found him “not guilty” of those charges. So your “kidnapping and torturing” is out the window.

    Next, you say that he went after an “innocent Iraqi.” Well, surely if that was his plan then it would have been in the conspiracy charge, right? Can you take a look at the overt acts in the conspiracy charge and tell us what the members found for the overt acts related to seizing an innocent Iraqi instead of the known insurgent who was the intended target? I’ll save you the trouble: the members found him “not guilty” of those overt acts. So your whole “innocent Iraqi” piece is out the window as well.

    So in light of that, I have to admit that I am rather perplexed by your screed that he is a “kidnapper and torturer of an innocent Iraqi.”

    As for serving only half his sentence, well, as he didn’t have a fair trial in the first place so we don’t really know what percentage of his sentence he has served. Could be that with a fair trial he wouldn’t have been awarded ANY confinement.

    But, hey, I’m just a Kool-aid drinker who bases his opinions on things such as what an accused is found guilty and not guilty of. Perhaps, anonymous TC, you could shed some light on where my “facts” are off?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Was the “known insurgent” any more “guilty” than the appellant? He wasn’t convicted of anything even once was he?

    I mean since we are being exacting here.

    Take out all of the other stuff, and he’s still someone who was convicted of murder. And we generally don’t let those folks go without a retrial when that option is still available to us.

    If you can point out where that isn’t generally true please do.

  17. Lee says:

    I lnow this Man and the person he is charged with killing “An unknown Iraqi civilian” we(kilo company) detained this Iraqi several times and he was let go EACH TIME! GET OUT OF OUR WAY AND LET US DO OUR JOB! I’M TIRED OF THIS! “If they try to burn him I’ll be the first in line to waste the bastards that try it! and that’s no threat that’s a BLOOD OATH!” Steve Kearns 18 Jan. 1969