Thursday, April 30, 2009

Navy Denied En Banc Rehearing in Chessani

Following up on CAAFlog's post, the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals yesterday did deny the Judge Advocate General's petition for en banc rehearing in the Chessani Art. 62 appeal of Judge Folsom's unlawful command influence ruling. Here is a link to a partial copy of the Court's order, the Thomas Moore Law Center website doesn't have the full copy. If anyone has the full copy, please email it to me at noman@caaflog.com. I am guessing the ruling had something to say about lateral taint vs. appearance of unlawful command influence, as raised in LtCol Chessani's opposition brief, here, courtesy of his counsel the Thomas Moore Law Center. Here is our prior link to the government motion for rehearing.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Ivo of Kermartin said...

The Government’s argument is based on the following syllogism:
Subordinates cannot influence superiors. Gen Mattis is superior to Col Ewers and LtCol Riggs. Gen Mattis could not have been influenced.

What if LtCol Riggs’s opinion was altered because Col Ewers, the investigator and an officer outranking LtCol Riggs, was present in the meetings? Should this be allowed?

Anonymous said...
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Ivo of Kermartin said...

Anon 09:40 –
LtCol Riggs did not testify and thus did not deny any influence. The burden was on the Government and LtCol Riggs was not called as a witness. “What ifs” is what a court is left with when the record is not made by the party with the burden.

LtCol Riggs would have been a good witness on the issue of influence, as he attempted to influence the IO in Tatum case Lt. Col. Riggs allegedly criticized Ware for being too harsh in assessing the prosecution’s case against Sharratt. After Ware filed his report, General Mattis dismissed charges against Sharratt. In an August Email to several attorneys, Ware wrote, “I viewed Lt. Col. Riggs’ comments as inappropriate and imprudent….I was…offended and surprised by this conversation.” Riggs recused himself from the Tatum case “to make sure there was no appearance of impropriety.”