October 15, 2009

Michael Behenna Deserves a Fair Trial

From the McCarville Report:

WASHINGTON ~ The Oklahoma Congressional Delegation today sent a letter to the Commandant of the United States Disciplinary Barracks, located at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as the Army Clemency and Parole Board begins consideration of 1LT Michael Behenna’s clemency request.

In March, 1LT Behenna was convicted of unpremeditated murder while serving in Iraq and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Previous cases of similar or more aggravating circumstances, where the defendants were found guilty of premeditated murder, have resulted in less severe sentences, which prompted the delegation’s appeal to the Clemency Board for a careful review of this case and relevant precedent.

“We must ensure the Uniform Military Code of Justice is applied fairly for all of our service men and women and that, when discrepancies arise, we examine the circumstances as carefully as possible,” said Congresswoman Mary Fallin (OK-05). “I am grateful for Mr. Behenna’s service to our country and hope the circumstances of this case are carefully evaluated by the Clemency Board during this process."

Fallin said today’s hearing was in addition to ongoing efforts to secure a new trial for 1LT Behenna. “Since this case was first brought to our attention, we have never made any presumptions about guilt or innocence. Our only concern has been due process and the fair and equitable distribution of justice for our service men and women,” said Fallin.