A friend o’ CAAFlog called our attention to this article from the Statesman about the Hasan case’s lead TC, COL Mike Mulligan, and the IO, COL James Pohl.

21 Responses to “Article about lead TC and IO in Hasan case”

  1. anon says:

    Wasn’t he the TC in the Capt Yee case from GTMO?

  2. Phil Stackhouse says:

    A friend of mine attended the arguments in the sentencing phase of a death penalty trial with her son recently.

    After watching the prosecuTOR make his case to the jury the son turned to the mother and said “I don’t see how someone can stand there and look twelve people in the eye and ask them to get together and agree to kill someone.”

    She is an experienced trial lawyer – he is a college student. I thought his insight into what was happening a interesting perspective.

  3. Anon says:

    How is that anecdote in any way interesting?

  4. Ama Goste says:

    We watched Jeff Dusek’s sentencing argument in the David Westerfield case from San Diego in the NJS’s Prosecuting Complex Cases course. Westerfield was Danielle Van Dam’s killer. Dusek never once directly asked for the death penalty, but his intent was clear, and that was the sentence. Objectively, it was an incredible argument, even for those who aren’t in favor of the death penalty.

  5. ksf says:


    Apparently, one of the TC’s you’ve whupped is attempting to get back at you anonymously. Shall I handle your light work.

    Perhaps, it is interesting because college students, on average, are a bit more liberal and think it an act of hyprocrosy for twelve people to vote to kill someone when that person has killed someone.

    Or perhaps, it is interesting that a mother would bring her colleged-aged son to a death penalty case.

    Whatever the case may be, the anecdote was interesting and would be food for thought for SAUSA’s who read this blog when trying a case in front of a Federal jury who is randomly selected from the local population, as opposed to being hand-selected jackhammers by the GCMCA. The “fix” is far less likely to be in.

    And, thankfully, Hasan will not be tried in front of a civilian jury.

  6. publius says:

    Interesting in a “kids say the darnedest things” kind of way. When he grows up, the kid will understand it’s the prosecutor’s job.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I doubt that “kid” didn’t understand it was his job, I think the “kid” (aka college aged adult) was making a comment, which reasonable minds can agree or disagree with, about the hypocritical nature (arguably) of the death penalty.

    It’s kinda been a big debate for a decade or two around these parts, so probably unfair to try and belittle his taken one side of it as somehow something he’ll grow out of when his brain is all big.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’d guess that would be an effective approach if the facts were egregious enough and the mitigation/extenuation not particularly persuasive.

  9. Anon says:

    I always found it dangerous to have a military judge as the Art. 32 Investigating Officer. Not many understand the profound difference in thsoe roles. Most importantly, the IO must put asied his or her ego and understand what their limited role really is. Very difficult for a military judge to do that. One simple example…
    DC: “Objection, your honor.”
    IO: “Your objection is noted. Do you wish to make any further record? Very well. Witness will answer the question.”

  10. Anonymous says:

    I actually think it’s stupid to have non-lawyers making legal recommendations.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Then it’s safe to say this guy will not grow up to be a prosecutor. Other than that, this story is of little import. This is the same tired argument that always comes from the anti DP arena. It’s the hollow position that made Mike Dukakis look like an idiot when he stuck to it in the debates in 88.

  12. John O'Connor says:

    We always had the JAGs at legal assistance or with other commands on base be the IOs. I am not a fan of having MJs act as the IO mainly because I think it gives the appearance of too cozy a relationship between the CAs and the judges on base that the CA can get a judge to be the IO whenever a significant case comes up.

  13. Anon says:

    Hey KSF, what about the Martinez trial? A military panel fully acquitted him.

  14. ksf says:


    That is a good point. Martinez was an acquittal, so no fix was in. I’ve been on both sides, and I will tell you even when I am representing an innocent person, I am still nervous going in front of a military panel, despite what F. Lee Bailey says. And I believe that Martinez was an exception to the rule.

    It has been my experience that the commanders who are selected by the CG, who are advised by the TC’s trying the case, and who believe that TDS stands for The Dark Side, typically give the Government the benefit of the doubt and ask the military judge questions like, “Isn’t he going to testify?” (pointing at accused) after the Defense has rested its case.

    But, you’re right, Martinez was an acquittal.

  15. Ama Goste says:

    USAF always uses JAGs as IOs.

  16. John O'Connor says:

    It has been my experience that the commanders who are selected by the CG, who are advised by the TC’s trying the case, and who believe that TDS stands for The Dark Side, typically give the Government the benefit of the doubt and ask the military judge questions like, “Isn’t he going to testify?” (pointing at accused) after the Defense has rested its case.

    That reminds me of the first case I tried to members. It was an in absentia case involving fairly minor assaults and disobedience of the guard at the School of Infantry. At the end of the case on the merits, the MJ read instructions and asked if there were any questions. A captain raised his hand and said “aren’t you going to advise us as to the maxuimum punishment?” The MJ said that they were just dealing with findings at that point in time. When the members left to deliberate, the MJ pointed at me and said, “Well, Captain O’Connor, you’ve got one.”

  17. who's your daddy says:

    I read reports that this 32 could be 3 weeks and would include the testimony of victims. The Gov’t could easily meet their burden in 2-3 days – and even argue for a capital referral based upon the defendant self-identifying with the enemy. Presumably this longer fully developed Article 32 will aid the Convening Authority in deciding whether to refer it capital or not. I imagine the recommendation from an experienced 0-6 military judge like Col Pohl would carry a lot of weight (should not be decisive no matter the recommendation). Just reading some tea leaves, but who knows, i’m admittedly not well versed on all the facts.

  18. Anon says:

    There is nothing more advantageous to both sides than a full and fair 32. All the discovery at half the price. As TC I tried to put on a fair case and as DC I took in all the discovery I could. If the evidence is there then the accused can see it and make a good decision and if not, the CA gets a good report. I suspect Hasan will see it all out in front of him, interesting to see if he pleads after it.

  19. Dwight Sullivan says:

    Anon 1946 — the UCMJ forbids pleading guilty to a capitally referred charge.

  20. Weirick says:


    Not to be persnickety, but would it be more precise to view a guilty plea to an offense for which the death penalty may be adjudged as an irregular plea? Resulting in the military judge being obligated to enter a plea of not guilty. R.C.M. 910(a)(1) and (b). In the end, this would have the same outcome as a prohibition on pleading guilty to a capital charge.

  21. Anonymous says:

    What were your personal feelings about the facts that Dusek brought to your attention? About Westerfield breaking into the Van Damme home in the middle of the night, taking Danielle, what he did in that motorhome out in the desert and about that underpass in El Cajon where they found her? What ought society do with him?