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IPFS News Link • Military

Mistrial could be end of Watada case

• Seattle Post Intelligencer
The Army court-martial of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, which ended in a mistrial Wednesday, may have stranger turns ahead: Prohibitions against double jeopardy may keep prosecutors from having a second trial, his lawyer and another legal expert say.

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Comment by Fascist Nation
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Yup, this is true. Either they will acknowledge that charges cannot be refiled, on these charges, or Watada's lawyer will undoubtedly be making such claim at any initial proceedings on a retrial, and filing an appeal in the federal courts to enforce double jeopardy.

But, the military, if it unwisely chooses, can simply re-order Watada to join his unit, or another unit in Iraq. And file new charges if he refuses. Or if Watada continues to "disrespect" the President's "plans" in public.

My predictions: The judge, who's name I don't know, but let's call him Captain Kangaroo, will not be further involved in any re-trial ... as he has to start packing his career in some boxes. He is a rare judge who blocks ANY defense from being mounted, and then mistrials the case after the prosecution rests! That takes real incompetence.

Watada will be reassigned either to Afghanistan, or somewhere other than Iraq, or offered a discharge. Were I him, I would refuse anything other than a honorable discharge offer. And heck, wouldn't it be fun if he refused to resign his commission or accept an honorable discharge?