Defense attorney group wants U.S. Supreme Court to review Behenna case

Brief filed in Behenna case says U.S. Supreme Court should have final say after military appeals court decision against Edmond soldier in case of unpremeditated murder in combat zone
by Chris Casteel Published: March 12, 2013
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The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces ruled 3-2 that Behenna had essentially lost his right to self-defense by pointing his weapon at the unarmed man outside of a battlefield situation.

Behenna's attorneys argued to the U.S. Supreme Court that the narrow decision would make more soldiers vulnerable as they increasingly confront unconventional scenarios outside the bounds of traditional battlefields.

The brief filed by the defense attorneys says the self-defense question presented in Behenna's case is the kind of issue that merits the Supreme Court's attention even though it's normally outside of its purview since it doesn't raise constitutional questions and is applicable only in the military justice system.

The narrow decision by the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces “on such a significant and far-reaching question” of military law underscores the significance of giving the final say to a court created by the U.S. Constitution, the attorneys' brief says.


by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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