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Another case involved the November 2004 death of an unarmed Iraqi detainee in Fallujah. One Marine was spared prison time after pleading guilty to dereliction of duty, and another was acquitted. Their former squad leader was acquitted in federal court.
Former Navy officer David Glazier, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said Wednesday’s ruling demonstrates the military’s poor prosecution record.
"For these very serious allegations of conduct that one would think of as war crimes, the military justice system has not performed very well in the past couple decades," Glazier said.
"Here this guy’s conviction is overturned on the basis that he was mistreated by the government during his initial apprehension, and yet he’s already served five years in prison," he added. "If the conviction was unjust in the first place, it’s kind of appalling it’s taken the military justice system five years to resolve it."
Hutchins’ lawyer said his client told him after the ruling that he can’t wait to return to his wife and two children.
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