FROM MARINE ROGER HERMAN: THE LATEST ON USMC SGT. LAWRENCE GORDON HUTCHINS, III
Monday, 18 August 2014
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Sergeant of Marines Lawrence Gordon Hutchins, III
There are too many addresses to send this email to all in one shot. So, it is also going out to dozens more in the second wave…
I was at the hearing at CampPen yesterday, and it was a long day. We were in court for nearly 8 hours. What I couldn’t tell you before, is what you will see in the short video below regarding his new civilian attorney Chris Oprison (now assisting his assigned military attorneys). Chris used to be one of president George Bush’s attorneys, when he was president. Also, Chris is a former Marine and has had cases heard before the Supreme Court as well. He is a genius in the courtroom. And he has taken on this case pro bono. I was unable to make the hearing that followed today, but having just talked with Larry, it was more of the same by Chris today. And he is just getting started. The August court martial that was delayed to the Oct/Nov timeframe has now been re-scheduled for next January. The trial date is a moving target, and I expect that we will see further delays. Now, after eight long years of getting the short end of the stick, the playing field is level. And at long last Larry and his legal team are able to “Roll in Hot.” The defense is now on the offense.
For those who are not entirely familiar with Larry’s case, if you google Sgt Larry Hutchins or Hamdaniya, it will bring you up to speed. However, what you will most likely see in print is far short of the entire story. As most of you know, I have been involved in Larry’s case for the past four years. I was appointed by his outstanding appellate attorney, Maj Babu Kaza, to act as Larry’s legal liaison for the three years while he was incarcerated at the MCAS Miramar Consolidated Brig. Prior to that, Larry, was at Ft. Leavenworth and the Camp Pendleton brig. He was initially sentenced to 15 years behind bars. His case was overturned in 2009, he was released only to find himself re-tried again, and he was re-incarcerated. As you research this case you will see how politics reared its ugly head that has caused this to continue on for eight long years now.
Without question, his case is the most well known, and probably most infamous, in military legal circles. It is extraordinary what he and his family have had to endure these past eight years. In November of 2012, the highest court in the military legal system, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF), found in his favor regarding an illegal NCIS investigation conducted in-country in Iraq. They had essentially locked him up in solitary confinement in little more than a CONEX box for a week. Even upon his release based on the CAAF decision, a little over a year ago, the prosecution still wanted him held in pre-trial confinement until the outcome of their third attempt at court martial. Had it not been for the intervention of his appellate attorney, Maj Kaza and the Honorable Bing West (former Vietnam Marine, Asst. SecDef in the Reagan administration and highly accomplished novelist), Larry would still be behind bars today. Additionally you should know that former congressman and retired army LtCol Allen West has been an advocate for Larry and the “Leavenworth 10” since the beginning of this unbelievable journey. I have nothing but the highest admiration for the above mentioned men, as I know you do.
Please don’t ask me how this whole evolution for eight years can still be continuing on until this time. I have learned more about the military legal system in the past four years than I ever thought possible, or wanted to… and I still don’t understand it. It’s the old adage, “one step forward and two steps back” when it comes to me, as just when I think I have it kinda figured out I discover that I still don’t know a damned thing. Lastly, you should know that in the past year since Larry’s release, he has truly been what he always was… A Sergeant of Marines. He is the top rated Sgt amongst 33 others in his command. For those who will be doing further research, believe me, you will be scratching your head as to how this could ever happen to one of our own. We never left a Marine in need behind in a hot LZ in Vietnam… and we are not about to change our ways now.
So, here is the latest unbelievable thing that the prosecution has pulled. In the link below, the reference by Bridget Naso has to do with CID a few months back coming into the CampPen defense attorney’s offices, and required that the attorneys stand out in the passageway as they rifled through all the lawyer-client confidential files throughout the entire complex that encompasses the defense attorney’s offices. To say the least there has been nothing but outrage out this way as to this latest event. They were looking for a cellphone that was pertinent to another case, but after finding the phone early on, they continued to go through all of the other defense attorney’s case files, including Larry’s. On the stand yesterday, Chris questioned the CID agents and others. He caught them during questioning in several instances of “inconsistencies.” To put it into a vernacular we are all familiar with… “He ripped them a new one.”