Co-authored by Mike “No Man” Navarre
Fort Hood Shooting Trial Could Take New Turn
After the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki last week, the court-martial of Maj. Nidal Hasan is necessarily impacted by reports that suggest Hasan was motivated by terrorism, the Austin American-Statesman reports, here. Before, observers doubted that the prosecution would bother focusing on the fact that Hasan had communicated by email with al-Awlaki because he is not facing terrorism charges and they already have a wealth of evidence to prove their case. Now, military law expert (and NIMJ Advisor) Geoffrey Corn speculates that defense attorneys could, if they can get them in discovery, use the emails to show Hasan was manipulated by al-Awlaki, in hopes of saving him from the death penalty.
The Gitmo Detainee Debate Continues
A guest commentary by COL (Ret.) Lawrence Wilkerson in the Detroit Free Press, here, notes that jury selection for Abdulmutallab – the underwear bomber – will begin soon. Concurrently, Congress is debating provisions in a defense authorization measure that will require that terrorism suspects be held only in military custody and allow indefinite detention for terrorism suspects even if they are American citizens. The irony, according to COL (Ret.) Wilkerson, is that the “swiftness with which federal law enforcement officials were able to bring Abdulmutallab to trial is the latest powerful argument against over-reliance on military to combat terrorism.”
Say what you want about our military justice system . . .
The Guardian (Nigeria) reports, here, that Migerian Brig. Gen. Muraina Raji, was discharged and acquitted at a special court martial on charges of neglect in his duties related to the escape of two Boko Haram suspects from a detention facility. Afterward, he was convicted on “special findings” that weren’t charged that the general failed to “show interest” in the high profile detainees. He was sentenced to three months loss of seniority. The general’s defense counsel reportedly criticized the verdict saying, “Thus the special court martial turned itself into the accuser, the prosecutor, the witness and the judge in a criminal case, contrary to all known canons of natural justice.” See here.