Courage to Resist. February 7, 2007
In a complex turn of events, the prosecution requested and was granted a mistrial today, over the objections of the defense. In short, after the prosecution presented it’s case (poorly) to the jury yesterday, the prosecution requested, and was granted a “do over” by Judge Head today. However, if this were allowed by the appeals court, what would stop any prosecutor from creating a mistrial in order to win a “do over?”
Lt. Watada’s civilian lawyer Eric Seitz declared, ‘The mistrial is very likely to have the consequence of ending this case because double jeopardy may prevent the government from proceeding with a retrial.’ Should the Army proceed with a second trial, Seitz said he would seek dismissal of the charges with prejudice so they could not be refiled.
Lt. Col. Robert Resnick of the Judge Advocate General’s office at Fort Lewis said double jeopardy does not apply in the governments opinion. Judge John Head set a March 12 retrial date, but due to prior commitments of the defense team this would likely be pushed back to May or later, if at all.
Eric Seitz post-mistrial press conference video below. More complete Courage to Resist courtroom report forthcoming.