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England's Statements Suppressed

by TChris

Lynndie England, the accused prisoner abuser, accomplished what is usually a herculean task: she persuaded a judge that she did not knowingly and voluntarily surrender her right to remain silent.

After testimony from psychologists that England may not have understood her legal rights and may have given inaccurate answers because of a learning disability, Pohl said statements she gave in January 2004 could not be permitted as evidence. "The court finds that under the totality of circumstances in this case, the accused did not understand her rights," he said.

England's lawyer recently asked the military judge to recuse himself, arguing that Judge Pohl would not give England a fair trial. While it's tempting to wonder whether the recusal request induced Pohl to prove how fair he could be (human nature, after all), it's more reassuring to believe that Pohl gave the suppression motion careful thought and came to a conclusion that should be obvious to other judges in many other cases: the accused didn't really understand that she had the right to keep her mouth shut. In any event, it's a nice win for England (please note: that observation is not an endorsement of her behavior), who faces (but probably won't receive) a sentence similar to the ten years imposed on "Abu Ghraib abuse ringleader Charles Graner."

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  • Re: England's Statements Suppressed (none / 0) (#2)
    by Aaron on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:00 PM EST
    And the odds of that ruling occurring in a civilian court are... roughly zero? Is there a mechanism for interlocutory appeal in courts martial?

    Re: England's Statements Suppressed (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:01 PM EST
    Oh PLEEEZZZ. She has a learning disability??? Give me a friggin' break. When does anyone actually become responsible for their actions?? GEE WHIZ. She abused those prisoners because she COULD. 10 years REALLY works for me. OR stick her in an Iraqi prison and see how she likes it. I don't give a DAMN about her SEXUAL involvement with Grainer. I mean SO WHAT??? I could just scream.

    Re: England's Statements Suppressed (none / 0) (#3)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:02 PM EST
    it's more reassuring to believe that Pohl gave the suppression motion careful thought and came to a conclusion that should be obvious to other judges in many other cases: the accused didn't really understand that she had the right to keep her mouth shut. Excellent point.

    Re: England's Statements Suppressed (none / 0) (#4)
    by jen on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:02 PM EST
    How old was she? 19? She was very young, maybe not as swift as others, coming from a society that has been insisting that questioning authority equals hating your country, she was an E4 (almost ANYBODY can give her orders) and she was stuck thousands of miles from home in a land hostile to women. The only people who could get her home was the US Military. I don't fault her for lack of *that* much courage. I figured dishonorable discharge was enough. A couple of years in jail wasnt unreasonable. Perhaps our nation's leaders should set an example regarding taking responsibility.

    Re: England's Statements Suppressed (none / 0) (#5)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:02 PM EST
    Deeper, deeper, deeper. Me must always go deeper. England is the shallow end of this pool of abuse and torture and shame to the U.S. Go after those who initiated this kind of atmosphere. Those who think the sh*t will never hit THEIR fan.