Many of you have been asking about the hearing before the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) that was held on April 23, 2012. While it is difficult to get a read on how the judges will ultimately rule, overall we felt good about it. The questions that the judges asked made it clear that they had thoroughly reviewed Michael’s case. In the first few minutes of Michael’s attorney’s narrative one Judge started a barrage of comments and questions that appeared to be against Michael’s position. But later the same Judge jumped all over the government counsel on the confusing jury instruction given by the trial judge concerning self-defense, at one point declaring “I’ve read the instructions about four times and it is very confusing …..and I’m a Judge of this court”; to which the government counsel admitted “Your honor, it is confusing.” Another judge backed the government counsel into a corner more than once and got him to c oncede that there was no evidence submitted at trial that Michael had ‘illegally’ assaulted Mansur in the culvert by pointing a weapon at him. We thought that was very positive. The Court has no timeline for returning a decision, but given that this court set the hearing so quickly we believe they will not take too long to render their decision.
May 18th will mark the fourth birthday Michael will spend behind bars in Ft. Leavenworth military prison. On that day Michael will turn 29 years old. While he will not have cake for this birthday he will have his family with him as well as his unwavering belief that justice has not abandoned him and that she will soon come to set him free. Despite all he has been through he remains hopeful that the civilian justices who preside on CAAF will come to a far different conclusion than the previous Army courts.
Michael’s hope is further encouraged by the many cards, letters and prayers that you have delivered to him these past several years of his imprisonment. There are days when Michael receives more mail than his entire pod (about 70 prisoners). Michael is not one to seek attention, but those cards and letters provide a significant inspiration and boost to his mental and spiritual being. Please remember him on his 29th birthday with a card, letter, or prayer as we need him to stay strong while we wait for the court’s decision. Remember that your letters to him do not need to be lengthy. Just let your heart tell you what to write to a warrior whose only mistake was that he cared too much for his men.
Letters and cards can be sent to Michael at:
Michael Behenna 87503
1300 N. Warehouse Road
Ft. Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304
Also, if you have not seen the YouTube version of the Ballad of Michael Behenna…. including pictures and video – check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMbytddDjWI
Thank you for your continued support for a hero we remain proud to call our son!!!
Tags: 1LT Michael Behenna, Allan West, CAAF, DefendMichael.com, Erwin Roberts, Iraq War, Jack Zimmerman, Jason Elbert, L10FreedomRide.com, Leavenworth 10, Meghan Poirier, Michael Behenna, Military Law, Operation Iraqi Freedom, SOFA, Uniform Code of Military Justice, US Army, War Crimes