We wanted to give everyone an update regarding Michael’s clemency hearing which was held on December 2nd in Washington D.C. The Army Clemency Board gave us ample time to discuss Michael’s case. They seemed genuinely interested in Michael’s story as well as the mitigating circumstances of his case. The Board asked relevant questions which led us to believe they not only knew the narrative, but also were concerned about Michael’s future.
Hearing from Michael’s parents as well as his girlfriend Shannon, the Clemency Board listened to us for almost 50 minutes. We asked the Board to either suspend the rest of Michael’s sentence or to significantly reduce it. Michel’s sentence for unpremeditated murder is now at 15 years; which is still 50% higher than any other combat related unpremeditated murder sentence. In other cases the sentences handed out ranged from 1 to 10 years. We expect to hear a decision from the Army Clemency Board in 1 to 2 weeks.
Next up is the long awaited appeal of Michael’s conviction. The oral arguments will be heard this Thursday, December 9th, at 10am at the Army Court of Appeals, 901 N. Stuart, Arlington, Virginia. The hearing is open to the public and if you are in the area we would love to have your support. The Hearing is expected to last about one hour. If you cannot attend, we would just ask that you say a prayer for a good outcome. It is this court that we hope will finally reverse Michael’s conviction and set him free. We will let you know how it went in our next newsletter.
At this point it would take a miracle to prevent Michael from spending another Christmas in prison. But we count it among our many blessings that we will be able to spend Christmas with our son in the visitation room. We have much to be grateful for as we head into 2011. The support you have given to Michael and to our family has truly been a gift from God. Michael’s story has continued to grow exponentially as has all the stories of the Leavenworth 10. Please keep the letters coming for all these brave American soldiers.
Finally, here is a NewsOK video that discusses what we covered in the Clemency Hearing.
We want to wish each of you a wonderful Merry Christmas. Bless you and thank you for all your support.
Tags: 1LT Michael Behenna, Allan West, DefendMichael.com, Erwin Roberts, Iraq War, Jack Zimmerman, Jason Elbert, L10FreedomRide.com, Leavenworth 10, Meghan Poirier, Michael Behenna, Military Law, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Uniform Code of Military Justice, US Army, War Crimes