Here is a link to a Seattle Times article discussing recent motions in the court-martial of SPC Adam Winfield, the member of the 5th Stryker Brigade that allegedly reported the unlawful killing of an Afghan civilian to his father.  Trial counsel in the case, according to the report, asked the military judge to exclude evidence of this conversation or his father’s attempts to get military investigators to look into the SPC Winfield’s statements.  Defense counsel are arguing that the evidence is relevant to their client’s withdrawal from the conspiracy.  Without the motions it is difficult to divine who is correct–if anyone can change that, we’d be happy to link to the motions and comment on them.

7 Responses to “Government Moves to Exclude Whistleblower Claim in 5th Stryker Brigade Case”

  1. Stewie says:

    Are they trying to keep the accused from testifying about it or merely trying to keep the statement out as irrelevant hearsay since it comes from the accused and is offered for the accused?

  2. Mike No Man Navarre says:

    Well, Stewie, as the first and second sentence of the article says, \”Army prosecutors want the murder trial . . . to unfold without any mention the soldier once acted as a whistle-blower to try to expose such crimes. [The government\’s] position is it\’s irrelevant.\” That would seem to indicate they aren\’t making a hearsay objection, but rather a . . . relevance objection, no?

  3. Dew_Process says:

    Ahhh, more of the Diaz debate on defense “motive” evidence….

  4. Stewie says:

    Well, Mike, generally, newspaper articles don’t get it 100 percent right, particularly on legal issues, so I think it premature to accept that indication because if the accused got on the stand and said, I tried to withdraw from the conspiracy by telling…such a statement would be highly relevant, I have a hard time believing THAT’s the actual objection/situation involved here from the government.

    However, evidence of the conversation through hearsay through the father’s testimony being excluded makes a lot more sense. I also would guess that what the father than did/said might be considered irrelevant (although I’m not sure I agree there either).

    But perhaps I am either missing something about why an attempted withdrawal is not relevant in a conspiracy case, or the government is missing why it is relevant.
    Given the fact that the trial counsel has some decent criminal law experience, I was giving him the benefit of the doubt.

  5. Mike No Man Navarre says:

    Stewie–i am not being critical of your comment, I mean your guess is as good as mine on what this is all about. Be nice to see the pleadings as this sort of a conspiracy isn\’t your typical military conspiracy, eg two E-1s buying and selling a bag o\’ weed.

  6. Stewie says:

    I didn’t mean to be defensive, I honestly don’t know as it would seem the appropriate response to a “I wanna talk about how I withdrew from this conspiracy” wouldn’t be “that’s not relevant.”

    It seems to me it can’t be that, unless I am missing something, which I could be, or the paper isn’t reporting it correctly, or the trial counsel is making a bad argument.

    Which is why I was wondering aloud if this is really an issue of the defense trying to get this information in front of the panel in way which does not require his client to testify, which would make this a lot more understandable to me.

  7. W says:

    I agree, the pleadings would be nice.

    Was it the accused who was attempting to withdraw, or his father attempting to do so of his own volition on his son’s behalf (recognizing that his son was in trouble)? If it was the latter, then I can see why Dad’s actions are irrelevant to any understanding of the conduct of the accused.