England's Statements Suppressed
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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