Over the next weeks, I'm going to try to give you bits and pieces of a very long, complex story. This piece is about Nick Slatten.
Nick was the Raven 23 DDM, or Designated Defensive Marksman, and his position was lying prone in the back of the Command Vehicle. All those dings you see on that truck must have been going off like popcorn in his ears. More about that later.
For now, look closely at the document below. Here is the background:
On New Year's Eve - December 31, 2009, Judge Urbina dismissed all charges against the men of Raven 23. He did so, because the prosecution had not played fair, and the judge knew the case was no longer salvageable. Just prior to his dismissal, however, the GOVERNMENT filed a motion to let Nick out of the case entirely, citing no evidence against him. The judge, in an unfortunate chain of events, did not grant that motion, but he didn't because he knew he was going to dismiss the overall case.
In 2012, when the DOJ got their new indictment, they rolled the dice and put Nick back into the case. Nick's attorneys went to the Court of Appeals, asking them to clarify their initial appeal - mainly, that in no way, shape or form, did their remand back to the federal court include Nick Slatten. The court agreed - Nick was out.
The DOJ, however, with egg on its face, asked the court of appeals to re-think their answer. "If you don't re-interpret your original decision and put Nick back into the case, by law we cannot re-indict him because the statute of limitations has run out. And if we can't hold Nick accountable, it will be an injustice."
The court of appeals said, essentially "tough luck." If you ran out of time, it was your own fault. I love their ending paragraph - we will not cure one injustice by committing another.
Now the egg had turned to mud, and they had a President breathing down their neck. Within 11 days of the decision from the court of appeals, they were already holding sessions in front of a new grand jury, asking for a murder charge. Why? Was it because Nick Slatten had committed a murder? Nope. Not one single witness nor a shred of evidence against him - even for a manslaughter charge, according to the prior prosecution team. Why murder, then? Because there IS no statute of limitations on murder. And that, my friends, is how a man who had been released from the case in 2009, suddenly winds up looking at life in prison on a murder charge.
I know how angry this makes you. Don't post your anger - share the story. Nick Slatten is not a lamb and we will not let him be slaughtered like one. Tell everyone what this Dept. of Injustice did against an 82nd Airborne veteran out of Tennessee.
This blog is dedicated to our fight to secure the freedom of three wrongly convicted, decorated servicemen and to stop the unjust prosecution of a fourth.