Wednesday, Oct 07th

Last update10:27:39 PM GMT

You are here News Military Accused sit in jail as military courts drag feet on appeals

Accused sit in jail as military courts drag feet on appeals

E-mail Print PDF

Military appeals drag their feetMarine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Brian W. Foster served nearly a decade in Leavenworth for a crime he didn't commit. Foster is now free and serving his country once more. The military appeals system that failed him, meanwhile, is still trying to right itself.

"It's a terrible system," Foster said. "The judges and attorneys who had the opportunity to stand up and say 'this isn't right,' they didn't do that."

The court that finally freed Foster in 2009 called him a victim of "judicial negligence" and "intolerable" errors. The nine-year delay between conviction and appeal was "unacceptable," the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals acknowledged.

While Foster's experiences were extreme, they were not entirely unique. Other soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have likewise languished in appellate limbo.

A McClatchy review of thousands of pages of court and military documents reveals persistent delays that have long frustrated repeated reform efforts. These appellate delays can interfere with the ability of veterans to find jobs, secure benefits and, sometimes, regain their freedom.

The delays happen at every stage. Records can get lost. Simple tasks, like trial transcriptions, can lag. Attorneys get distracted or are sent off to a war zone. Some judges have been indifferent or out of their depth.


Most Recent Related Stories...

12 Dead After U.S. C-130 Transport Plane Crashes in Afghanistan

us c-130Twelve people, including five American service members, were killed early Friday when a U.S. C-130 transport...

Neller takes over as top Marine as Dunford moves on to chairman of Joint Chiefs

Gen. Joseph DunfordHailed as “a tested warrior and an innovative strategist,” Gen. Robert Neller accepted command of the...

U.S.-trained Syrian rebels gave equipment to Nusra: U.S. military

Nusra front fightersSyrian rebels trained by the United States gave some of their equipment to the al Qaeda-linked...

U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Child Rape

Dan QuinnIn his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was...
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support!
TVNL Tee Shirt
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support!
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support!
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!