Marine Taliban urination case withdrawn due to unlawful command influence.
Everyone remembers the public coverage of the Marines urinating on the bodies in Afghanistan. Well, even in a case like that where the “bad deed” appears in pictures and on video, the court-martial may not go in the Government’s favor. This is especially true when there is unlawful command influence. Unlawful command influence is when senior military personnel act in a way that influences court members, witnesses or others participating in a court-martial. The most common way that this occurs is when a senior level commander puts pressure on a lower level commander to handle a case in a certain way. In the case of the Marines, evidence was produced at the court-martial that the Commandant stated in a one-on-one meeting with a subordinate senior leader that he wanted the Marines who urinated on the bodies to be “crushed” via court-martial. This is all it takes to show unlawful command influence and the charges have been dropped. In the military, subordinates follow orders. Therefore, when something like this is said, it appears as if the lower commander is being ordered to “crush” the Marines by court-martial and that commander has no other option available. I have raised motions alleging unlawful command influence on behalf of my clients and have had much success. Unlawful command influence is not an easy motion to raise, since it often involves high level commanders. When raising these motions you need an
advocate who has experience interacting with high level commanders in a tactful manner. You also need an advocate who knows when and how to raise the right motions on your behalf in an effort to make your court-martial go your way. To speak to an experienced court-martial and military defense attorney, call Bill Cassara at 706-860-5769 for a free consultation.