MAJ Hasan Firing Defense Counsel

In a move that shouldn’t be all that surprising to informed observers, MAJ Nidal Hasan has moved to fire his military lawyers and proceed pro se in his own defense in his Ft. Hood shootings court-martial.  The Austin-American Statesman reports, here:

The request will be taken up by military judge Col. Tara Osborn at a May 29 pre-trial hearing. Because of the request, the planned selection of a jury — or panel, in military parlance — has been pushed back from May 30 to June 5. The trial is scheduled to begin by July 1.

H/t PC

CCR and Others Take Transparency Fight to US District Court

WaPo reports, here:

The Wiki[shhhh] organization and a handful of journalists asked a federal judge Wednesday to order greater transparency in the court-martial of an Army private who has acknowledged sending reams of classified document to the Wiki[shhhh] website.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, representing Wiki[shhhh] and its founder Julian Assange, filed the petition in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. It seeks an order requiring public access to all documents in the court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning.

Military Sexual Assault Issue Leads to UCMJ Change Proposal

From AP (via Yahoo News, here), the HASC Military Personnel Subcommittee voted on changes to the UCMJ Wednesday:

Members of a House panel angry over the growing epidemic of sexual assaults in the military took a key step toward tackling the problem by passing legislation Wednesday that would strip commanding officers of their longstanding authority to unilaterally change or dismiss court-martial convictions in rape and assault cases. Lawmakers believe the revision will lead to a cultural shift and encourage victims to step forward.

Here is the link, courtesy of PC, to the proposed chagnes, starting at page 12.

And finally, a little history, minutes of HMS Bounty mutiny court-martial discovered, see Daily Mail report here.

3 Responses to “Military Justice News for May 23, 2013”

  1. anon says:

    This is the petitioner’s (CCR) complaint in the Manning case for those interested in how they address the jurisdictional question. Never heard of first amendment right for press to be present for a sidebar in the civilian world but their main issue seems to be closure of the 802 sessions.

  2. Interested Onlooker says:

    I’m an uninformed observer, apparently.  Why shouldn’t I be surprised that Hasan ditched his military lawyers?  Is it as simple as a desire to be a martyr, or something more nuanced?

  3. Valerie says:

    “Victims” stepping forward isn’t the problem.  The stats show unfounded claims of sexual assault are up 17% (compared to 4% increase in “actual” sexual assaults)