A federal court judge has temporarily blocked a court-martial scheduled for an Iraq war objector based at Fort Lewis.
The court-martial of Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada had been scheduled to start Tuesday. Watada’s lawyers argue the Army is violating his constitutional rights by trying him twice for the same crime.
Watada is charged with missing his unit’s deployment to Iraq in June 2006 and with conduct unbecoming an officer for denouncing President Bush and the war.
U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle in Tacoma has decided his court has jurisdiction to issue the stay and that Watada’s double jeopardy claim is not frivolous. Now the judge has asked for more briefs by both sides on the issue
Posted on October 5, 2007 by Wordsmith