Sunday, October 07, 2007

U.S. district court enjoins court-martial prosecution

In an extremely rare intervention by an Article III court into an on-going court-martial, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington has issued a preliminary injunction stopping court-martial proceedings in the case of United States v. Watada until 26 October. Watada v. Head, No. C07-5549BHS (W.D. Wash. Oct. 5, 2007). NIMJ's web site has a link to the order here. Phil "My Liege" Cave called my attention to a Seattle Times article about the case here.

1LT Watada's first court-martial ended in a mistrial, and U.S. District Court Judge Settle is concerned with a potential double jeopardy violation from proceeding with a second court-martial. In his order, Judge Settle goes so far as to say that "the record indicates that Petitioner's double jeopardy claim is meritorious." Watada, No. C07-5549BHS, slip op. at 3.

Judge Settle ordered Army officials to file a response by 12 October and 1LT Watada's counsel to file a reply by 17 October 2007. He set the case for further consideration of 19 October 2007. It looks like we'll be following this case closely over the coming month.


John O'Connor said...

Schlesinger v. Councilman must have been ripped out of Judge Settle's copy of the U.S. Reports. To paraphrase the hibernating Guert Gansvoort, Judge Settle, the Ninth Circuit is on the phone . . ."

Phil Cave said...

Does anyone have a copy of the ACCA opinion?