The defense and prosecution have now rested their sentencing cases in the Lakin court-martial.
The prosecution finished its case by playing an interview with LTC Lakin on the Barry Farber show, in which the accused discussed his rationale for violating orders and refusing to deploy. The money quote from the interview came when Farber asked Lakin whether, if he had it all to do over again, would he still refuse to deploy. Lakin’s answer was that yes, he would.
The defense presented two witnesses: an O-6 who deployed with LTC Lakin previously, and a CW3 who had also served with the accused, both of whom testified to his professional qualities and character. Lakin then gave an unsworn statement in question-and-answer format, taking more than an hour to explain his conduct. He said he understands the Army is not the place to get answers to his questions, and admitted that he made the wrong call in thinking it was. He was in tears during parts of his unsworn, and said he would prefer jail time to dismissal from the service.
Colonel Sullivan reports that Lakin’s attorney, Neal Puckett, asked tough questions: you asked for this court-martial, didn’t you? Are you proud of what you’ve done? LTC Lakin said he was not proud, and that if he had it all to do over again, he would not actually refuse to deploy — in fact, he would deploy tomorrow, if he could. He denied having ever said “you had your chance” — that statement, he said, came from his former counsel, Paul Jensen.
The court is in recess until tomorrow. The prosecution will have an opportunity to put on a rebuttal case, if it chooses, and the defense can surrebut. The military judge will discuss sentencing instructions with counsel out of the presence of the members and then both sides will give argument. Judge Lind will instruct the members and they will retire to deliberate on a sentence. Barring the unexpected, the trial will end tomorrow.
Note: Colonel Sullivan will be on blogtalkradio again at 2100 hours tonight with retired commander Phil Cave and Fogbow blogger Mata Mari to discuss today’s events. As with yesterday’s program, there should be plenty of additional insights and analysis — tune in if you can.