Monday, October 08, 2007

RE: A federal judge has delayed the court-martial Ehren Watada

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Shane (Infoseekr)
Date: Oct 8, 2007 9:11 AM

Federal judge halts Lt.
Watada court martial!

robin long

Lt. Watada with father Bob and step-mother Rosa during first
pre-trial hearing on Ft. Lewis, Aug 2006 </div></td>

By Mike Barber, Seattle Post-Intelligencer. October 5, 2007

A federal judge in Tacoma has delayed the court-martial of 1st Lt.
Ehren Watada, a Fort Lewis Army officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq.

In a rare intervention of a civilian court in the military justice
system, U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin H. Settle granted
the emergency stay
(<span class="style1">PDF</span>) shortly before
close of business Friday. Watada's trial, slated to begin at 9 a.m.
Tuesday, is now postponed until at least Oct. 26, the judge ruled.

In granting the stay at 4:48 p.m., Settle determined that he has
jurisdiction under federal law to grant the stay and that Watada's claim
that a second-trial amounts to double jeopardy is not frivolous and
"has merit" for consideration.

Also: Editorial Board of the Seattle
Post Intelligencer has called for Ehren's release
from the Army today
"without further ado," and Amnesty
International declares conviction would be a violation of

"The irreparable harm suffered by being put to a trial a second
time in violation of the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment
stems not just from being subjected to double punishment but also from
undergoing a second trial proceeding," Settle wrote in quoting case

watadaWatada's lawyers, Jim Lobsenz and Ken Kagan of the Seattle firm
Carney Badley Spellman, have argued that the circumstances of a mistrial
declared in Watada's court-martial in February result in double jeopardy
-- being tried twice for the same charge.

The mistrial was declared over Watada's objections and after a
panel of military officers acting as a jury had heard evidence but not
begun deliberations.

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