Nation’s Highest Military Court Asked to Reconsider Former Green Beret’s Conviction

Since publishing news almost two weeks ago about the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces denying former Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart’s appeal, a new development has surfaced: William E. Cassara and Philip D. Cave, the attorneys handling Stewart’s appeals, have filed a Petition for Reconsideration with CAAF, the nation’s highest military court.

Notably, the petition cites ineffective assistance of counsel — an item mentioned in the July 26 decision of the Army Court of Criminal Appeals to affirm Stewart’s 2009 conviction and sentence on sexual assault charges — and requests CAAF reconsider Stewart’s case.

In plain English, Stewart’s new defense attorneys argue that the defense attorneys who represented the highly-decorated combat veteran during his court-martial didn’t follow the legal steps necessary to compel — or attempt to compel — the German government to produce the accuser’s mental health records. Those records, many believe, would have provided the court with a great deal of insight about the accuser and may have convinced members of the court-martial panel that the accusations against Stewart were baseless.

You can read more about these issues in my post, Army Judge Violates Soldier’s Constitutional Rights, published May 11, 2011. To read the complete, never-before-published details of this case, obtained through interviews with the key players and access to the actual Record of Trial, order a copy of the book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice.

UPDATE 12/20/2012 at 8:38 a.m. Central:  Bad news received from the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces:  “On consideration of Appellant’s petition for reconsideration of this Court’s order issued November 15, 2012, it is, by the Court, this, 19th day of December, 2012,  ORDERED:  That said petition for reconsideration is hereby denied.  For the Court, /s/ William A. DeCicco, Clerk of the Court.”

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