Monday, August 18, 2008

Courts-Martial News

Here is a round-up of the latest court-martial news of note:

Five Navy sailors will face summary and special courts-martial for alleged detainee abuse in Iraq, as reported here by Navy Times. Another sailor faces an Art. 32 hearing. The alleged abuse came after a "day of unrest at [Camp Bucca, Iraq]," said a Navy spokeswoman, CDR Jane Campbell. Navy Times described the alleged abuse, "Two detainees suffered abrasions as a result of . . . alleged assaults, and eight others were locked overnight in a detainee housing unit that was doused with pepper spray while its ventilation system was secured." Seven others, including a Navy LT were taken to mast. Navy Times mentioned what I thought was an interesting aspect of the cases, "The use of pepper spray in warfare is banned by international treaties on chemical weapons, but many governments say members of their armed forces are permitted to use it in war zones for law-enforcement duties."

For those already hesitant to make posts on this website, see this Stars and Stripes report on an Army investigation into blog posts about a court-martial.

Tuesday begins the trial of Sgt. Jose Nazario in US District Court. Nazario is one of three Marines accused of various crimes in the "deaths of four Iraqi prisoners during the battle in Fallujah on Nov. 9, 2004." Follow the story at the San Francisco Chronicle. Here is today's story from SFGate. See our prior posts on the story here and here.


Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain to me how is a civillian jury with a Civillian judge with most likely no clue on what it takes to be a marine or being combat suppose to be able to judge a marine for actions he took while in a combaT zone.

I did'nt think the government had cart blanche on jursidiction. Nazorio is out of the military so lets use the civillian systems ?

where is the armed forces judiciary committe on this one?

Really this is shameful indeed this should never be allowed to happened. I thought our constitution requires that one be tried by his peers?

Am I missing something here? somebody help me with the legalese here?

Anonymous said...

I don't recall the Sixth Amendment saying "jury of your peers." However, under Denedo v. US the military never really lost jurisdiction on him.

Publius said...

If the military had attempted to court-martial Nazario, he would have claimed that he wasn't subject to court-martial jurisdiction because he was no longer a member of the military. In United States ex rel. Toth v. Quarles, 350 U.S. 11 (1955), the Supreme Court held that Congress has no power to subject a discharged serviceman to trial by court-martial for offenses committed by him while in service and so to deprive him of the constitutional safeguards protecting persons accused of crime in a federal court.