U.S. Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna criticizes military justice system

In open letter to supporters, Edmond native 1st Lt. Michael Behenna said he remains hopeful that he'll get a new trial “where all the evidence will be heard.”
BY CHRIS CASTEEL ccasteel@opubco.com Published: August 24, 2011
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“I remain hopeful that in the end justice will prevail and that I may have a fair, impartial trial where all the evidence may be heard,” Behenna wrote.

In his letter, Behenna said he hopes his supporters will “begin to shine a light on the unchecked and ‘under the table' injustice that runs rampant in our military justice system; a system that we here at Leavenworth have known firsthand, and now the public is getting a glimpse of.

“This system cannot be ‘for justice and not against injustice.'”

The Army appeals court decision last month ruled that no evidence was deliberately withheld and that, had it been given, “it would not have changed the outcome of the trial beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The court said the judge properly told jury members that Behenna had no right to claim self-defense if they found beyond a reasonable doubt that he had assaulted the Iraqi without provocation or legal justification.