The Army Times
and News OK
are reporting that one of the few officers to face court-martial for the death of a detainee in the current conflicts will get two opportunities to have his conviction reversed or his sentence reduced in the next two weeks. First Lieutenant Michael Behenna was convicted of killing an individual his unit had detained in Iraq 2 1/2 years ago.
Although Behenna’s sentence has been reduced twice already, there is still quite a bit of controversy over the government’s not revealing potentially exculpatory information. The evidence at issue is a government expert consultant’s opinion regarding whether the forensic evidence could plausibly support Behenna’s claim of self-defense. While the trial judge denied the defense motion for a new trial, the case is now getting its annual review in front of the Army Clemency and Parole Board and oral argument at the Army Court of Criminal Appeals in early December.
Behenna’s parents are no strangers to law enforcement, although they are usually on the prosecution side. Mom Vicki is an Assistant US Attorney who prosecuted OKC bomber Tim McVeigh, while Scott is a retired Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent who has also worked for the FBI.