Most preposterous of all to this former prosecutor is the military’s silly assertion that awarding the Purple Heart to Hasan’s victims would enable Hasan’s lawyers to claim prejudice. Much of what prosecutors do in litigation involves responding to frivolous defense motions – that’s the job. Claims that defense lawyers now have no real chance of succeeding routinely get posited anyway, for two reasons: (a) Defense counsel seed the appellate record with any conceivable reason to get a conviction overturned (if counsel fails to raise a matter, it is deemed waived, so the lawyer’s incentive is to raise everything); and (b) defense counsel realize that, if the defendant is convicted, they will inevitably be accused of having performed incompetently – by making lots of motions, even weak ones, counsel help the reviewing court conclude that counsel provided zealous defense.It would be bad enough for the defense lawyers blatantly representing that savage to claim prejudice, since that would be denigrating the victims. But for the military themselves to stoop so low is nauseating. The victims are right to file suit against the outfit that's turned its back on them for the sake of political correctness.
If I were a government lawyer, I’d be licking my chops to respond to defense lawyers who were claiming prejudice based on awarding Purple Hearts to the victims. Not only are the victims extraordinarily sympathetic—and some of them performed heroically. Remember that we’re talking here about a “Purple Hearts are prejudicial” claim being advanced by lawyers who themselves have already announced that Hasan wanted to plead guilty. Many litigation arguments are stressful. For a prosecutor, that one would be fun.
Friday, April 05, 2013
US ARMY'S ARGUMENT AGAINST AWARDING NIDAL HASAN'S VICTIMS PURPLE HEARTS DOES A GRAVE DISSERVICE TO VICTIMS
Andrew C. McCarthy, who was once a prosecutor himself, has written about the US military's refusal to award Purple Hearts to the victims of Nidal Hasan:
Posted by Avi Green at 5:34 AM