Here is a Marine Corps Times update on former Marine Corps Sgt. Hutchins and his return to the brig to complete his sentence after CAAF reversed the NMCCA’s reversal of his conviction by testing the error in removing the accused’s counsel for prejudice, and finding none.

5 Responses to “Hutchins to Return to Brig”

  1. Babu says:

    I don’t think it is entirely accurate to say that CAAF tested for prejudice, and found none. They explicitly declined the “defense invitation” to assess what impact that the loss of detailed counsel had on the findings and sentence.

    I think it would be more accurate to say that CAAF “presumed” no prejudice, based on the fact that no defense continuance requests were denied.

    This “continuance” standard for prejudice is a departure from their other cases which tested erroneous counsel severance for prejudice–Weichmann and Rodriguez, both cited in CAAF’s opinion. Rodriguez only requires a “colorable showing” of prejudice and the appellant will get the benefit of the doubt. Under that standard the defense would have won. Weichmann requires the Government to show the severance was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Under that standard the defense would have won.

    At no point did CAAF ask the threshold prejudice question: Would this Marine have received substantially the same results at trial if the error had not occurred?

  2. Mike No Man Navarre says:

    Mr. Kaza–

    Thanks for the comment. I don\’t think my brief summary is inaccurate. One thing I would mention, there is kind of an unwritten code on blogs, particularly legal ones. If you are an advocate involved in the case we typically say that in the post or comment. Just food for thought as the way someone would read your comment is likely colored by their knowledge that you were the advocate for the appellee.

  3. Babu says:

    That’s why I used my name.

  4. bill almett says:

    Mike,

    Here’s some food for thought. When you are part of a blog that’s dying on the vine b/c some folks get their feewings hurt verwy easily, you might want to encourage folks who actually know something about the cases, e.g., the lawyer involved, to post rather than deriding him for breaking some “unwritten” blogging rule. All b/c he called you out for not taking the time to accurately describe what happened in the appeal. Talk about petty. Just some food for thought.

  5. John O'Connor says:

    I agree with Navarre (mark the date down). I, for one, basically never know the identity of counsel on a case by name. It is a useful piece of data to know that a poster is an advocate for one side in the case, and I (because I never know the identity of counsel) don’t get that piece of data by just having the poster use his/her name on the post.

    I accept that Mr. Kaza, who I understand used his name in the post, pretty clearly wasn’t trying to sock puppet here, or fool anybody, but it’s more helpful to readers who are less dialed into cases if the disclosure is very explicit.