Court Overturns Murder Conviction Against Camp Pendleton Marine | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Court Overturns Murder Conviction Against Camp Pendleton Marine

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces has overturned the murder conviction of a Marine sergeant found guilty of killing an Iraqi civilian.

Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III was found guilty in a case that dates back to 2006, when Hutchins and a group of troops went to a house in Hamdania, a city west of Baghdad. They were looking for a suspected insurgent, but, as NPR reported in 2006, when they did not find him, prosecutors allege they took another Iraqi man and shot him dead, leaving a shovel and an AK-47 to make him look like an insurgent.

Reuters reports that Hutchins confessed to the crime, but the highest military appeals court threw out that confession on Wednesday, saying it was obtained illegally.

Reuters explains:

"In its ruling on Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces said that in May 2006, a Navy investigator began to question Hutchins but he invoked his right to an attorney and was put under guard in a trailer.

"Hutchins was not allowed to call a lawyer and no attorney was provided to him, according to the ruling written by Judge Charles Erdmann. Seven days later, the investigator entered the trailer and asked to search Hutchins' belongings and the sergeant said he wanted to talk, the ruling stated.

"The next day, Hutchins provided a written confession, the ruling continued. The court found that after Hutchins requested an attorney the investigator had initiated the conversation — by coming back for a search. That led to Hutchins' admission and the judge and two colleagues found that it violated his constitutional right to remain silent."

The Associated Press reports that Hutchins has already served five years of his 11-year sentence. It is unclear when he will be released; Hutchins' lawyer told the AP he's expecting a release in days.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Out Of Ukraine, This 'Suitcase' Packs An Immigrant's Story With Humor

Ari Shapiro talks with first-time novelist Yelena Akhtiorskaya about her book, Panic in a Suitcase.
NPR

McDonald's Responsible For Treatment Of Workers, Agency Says

The National Labor Relations Board has found that McDonald's shares responsibility for working conditions at its franchised restaurants. The company will fight the ruling.
NPR

Senate's Highway Trust Fund Bill Sets Up Conflict With The House

A short-term fix for the nearly empty Highway Trust Fund is a step closer to President Obama's desk. Congress has been talking about the long-term problems with the construction account, but the two chambers have not agreed on a long-term solution.
NPR

OkCupid Sometimes Messes A Bit With Love, In The Name Of Science

OkCupid, the online dating site, disclosed Monday that they sometimes manipulate their users' profiles for experiments.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.