Tue, Oct 26, 2010 6:07 am
To the thousands of Michael Behenna supporters,
Michael’s long awaited Appellate Argument has finally been scheduled. It will take place on December 9, 2010 at 10am before the Army Court of Appeals in Washington DC. We eagerly await for Michael’s case to be reviewed by this higher court and are anxious to hear what we believe will be a reversal of the injustice that was done to Michael. If you are in the Washington DC area on this day you are welcome to attend.
The appellate court will review:
1) The failure of the Prosecution to provide critical evidence of the Prosecution’s forensic witness to Michael’s defense counsel;
2) The Military Prosecutor’s reversible error of making false assertions of fact and interjecting her personal opinion in closing arguments;
3) The military judge’s improper instruction limiting Michael’s right to self-defense;
4) The evidence presented of pre-meditated murder was not factually sufficient to support a conviction;
5) The military judge’s failure to instruct the jury on a lesser included offense of murder.
The Army Court of Appeals can overturn Michael’s conviction on any single one of these errors. After the hearing on December 9th a ruling should be handed down in early 2011 and our hopes and prayers are that Michael’s conviction will thrown out.
In addition to the appeals process Michael also has his annual clemency hearing coming up, possibly around the same time as the appellate argument hearing. Michael is not allowed to attend his clemency hearing so we will again represent him and hope the Clemency Board takes further action to reduce his sentence or release him to come home. We request that everyone send letters of support to the Clemency Board. You are certainly welcome to draft a short letter advising the Clemency Board of your opinion, or use the sample letter at the bottom of this email, or a combination thereof. (The sample letter will also be placed on www.defendmichael.com). We also encourage you to send a copy of your letter to your Senators and Representatives. There is a perfect storm forming to bring Michael home, but now more than ever we need your help. Please take a minute and write to the Deputy Secretary of the Army and your Congressional Delegations to let them know that this young man must be set free.
We are extremely grateful for those who continue to send letters and cards to Michael. This upcoming holiday season will be Michael’s second behind bars and he will no doubt struggle with the loneliness that comes with his situation. You can’t imagine the impact a kind word of support can have upon our son. Your letters have always lifted his spirits and sustained him as he fights to regain the freedom that was taken away from him. With the incredible support of thousands of voices just like yours from across this great country hopefully this will be the last holiday Michael has to spend behind prison walls.
Bless you all,
Scott & Vicki Behenna
Proud Parents of 1LT Michael Behenna