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The jury returned a responsible verdict right now. Please be in prayer for all of the Raven 23 households,” Free Raven 23 tweeted as we speak after the jury rendered its verdict in the trial of former Blackwater safety contractor Nicholas Slatten.
Jurors deliberated for 4 days after a six-week trial in U.S. District Courtroom in Washington. Free Raven23 anxiously awaited the verdict yesterday after three days of deliberations.
“Opening statements in Nick’s third trial were November 5, 2018, closing statements were December 11th, and the jury got the case for deliberation at approximately lunchtime on December 12th. The jury is (supposedly) not aware of the prior proceedings against Nick, nor is it aware of the vindictive charging decision that led to those proceedings Dozens of witnesses testified during the third trial, and even more exhibits were entered into evidence. While it is impossible to know what is happening in the jury room, we are confident that, after this amount of time, the jury is reviewing the evidence, rather than rushing to judgment one way or the other, consistent with the oath each juror took,” SupportRaven23 wrote.
Immediately the group acquired devastating information: Responsible.
The background of the first and second trials and preparation for the third trial under.
The 2018 Slatten Trials
SLATTEN’S THIRD TRIAL UNDERWAY From Free Raven 23
Raven 23 staff member Nick Slatten’s third trial obtained underway in late-October and is anticipated to final by way of mid-December. For the third time, authorized rulings in Nick’s case have him preventing battles that don’t have anything to do with the cost towards him or the fact of what occurred to the Kia’s driver. And, as soon as once more, the trial courtroom has allowed to be launched irrelevant proof that is designed to prejudice Nick–proof ranging from the quantity of cash Blackwater contractors made to graphic testimony relating to the alleged legal actions of others in Nisur Sq.. To date on this trial, the authorities has additionally been allowed to misrepresent witness testimony and current false testimony to Nick’s jury. Time and once more, Nick’s protection workforce calls out these points throughout cross-examination, and the jurors appear to be alert and have been noticed taking notes at necessary factors for Nick.
In 2014, a civilian jury wrongly convicted Nick Slatten of first-degree premeditated homicide based mostly on the authorities’s allegation that, with out provocation, Nick murdered the driver of a white Kia in a Baghdad warfare zone whereas Nick’s workforce, Raven 23, was responding to a automotive bomb assault. Nevertheless, Nick’s conviction was overturned in 2017 as a result of Nick’s jury had been wrongly denied key proof of his innocence—specifically 4 confessions, together with one beneath oath, by Raven 23 teammate Paul Slough that got instantly after the capturing and that element that Paul killed the Kia’s driver after he did not cease his car’s progress towards Raven 23’s convoy regardless of repeated, non-lethal warnings to cease. Beneath monumental political strain, the DOJ (which had beforehand gained an award for Nick’s wrongful conviction), determined to retry Nick relatively than acknowledge that Paul’s statements, that are backed up by each eyewitness testimony and bodily proof, show that Nick is not responsible.
Nick Slatten’s retrial ended with a mistrial on September 5, 2018, after his jury couldn’t attain a unanimous verdict.
In America, ‘reasonable doubt’ nonetheless hangs a jury
Following a number of weeks of painstaking deliberation, the long-awaited retrial for Nicholas Slatten of Blackwater’s Raven 23 ended with a deadlocked jury final week. The protection fought fiercely for Slatten’s full acquittal of a first-degree homicide cost arising from the unlucky Nisour Sq. incident of 2007.
Slatten’s retrial started on June 18, 2018, culminating with the declaration of a mistrial on September 5, 2018.
Earlier than the second trial might achieve momentum for both aspect, jury choice was delayed with two extremely surprising revelations. One, summaries of U.S. intelligence displaying that the lead Iraqi investigator had suspected ties to insurgency; and two, a written refusal by the father of the driver of the white Kia to testify in Slatten’s trial as a result of he had been advised by the authorities that Paul Sough, not Slatten, was chargeable for his son’s dying.
Regardless of the preponderance of proof in favor of Slatten and the further last-minute revelations, expenses weren’t dismissed by the decide, nor was Slatten launched into his counsel’s custody to completely help in his personal protection.
At the begin of the retrial, the authorities tried to determine Slatten had fired the first photographs and had dedicated premeditated homicide. The truth is, the authorities’s complete case hinged on Slatten firing the first photographs. Nevertheless, earlier statements – together with statements beneath oath – made by Paul Slough clearly contradicted the authorities’s concept of the case.
Contemplate this excerpt from a sworn assertion by Slough, for instance:
“As our motorcade pulled into the intersection I noticed a white four door sedan driving directly at our motorcade from the westbound lane. I and others were yelling, and using hand signals for the car to stop and the driver looked directly at me and kept moving toward our motorcade. Fearing for my life and the lives of my teammates, I engaged the driver and stopped the threat.”
Such statements by Slough have been by no means introduced to the jury throughout Slatten’s unique trial. Not so with the retrial, which pressed on with a number of weeks of witness examination and cross-examination of fellow safety contractors and Iraqis who have been current in Baghdad. Direct examination from witnesses, together with two Iraqi witnesses who noticed the first photographs being fired; and bodily proof, together with a bullet fragment from a weapon sort totally different from Slatten’s embedded in the Kia’s steering wheel and a gap in the driver’s aspect headrest that a former FBI trajectory skilled says couldn’t have been fired from Slatten’s place – additionally affirm Slatten’s declare that he was not the shooter.
Moreover, an unresolved problem for the protection has been the reversal of testimony from one of the Iraqi policemen on the scene the day of the incident. At the first trial, his prolonged testimony concerned particulars of his actions allegedly operating forwards and backwards throughout the northbound lane whereas dodging incoming hearth from the convoy.
Previous to sentencing, nevertheless, the similar policeman filed a Sufferer Influence Assertion at the request of the prosecutors. The assertion detailed an emotionally upset witness, having hid behind his visitors sales space and doing nothing – an entire reversal of his trial testimony.
A request to delay sentencing till the witness could possibly be interviewed by the protection counsel was denied based mostly on the prosecutors’ illustration to the courtroom that that they had spoken to the witness in a phone dialog, by which the witness allegedly reiterated his trial testimony and reportedly claimed his assertion was fantasy.
This was an necessary assertion for the protection, as a result of it detailed the policeman’s capacity to listen to the voices of the individuals in the white Kia. In that case, Slatten wouldn’t have been capable of shoot the driver whereas the car was additional again in visitors, as the visitors sales space was mere ft from the convoy.
Throughout retrial, in accordance with the docket, Slatten subpoenaed the NSA for the recording of the prosecution’s telephone name with the Iraqi policeman, however the subpoena was suppressed. Notably, at trial, when the policeman once more testified, his testimony manifestly omitted the actions he beforehand claimed.
Withholding of proof, together with a couple of minutes of drone footage from the scene of the incident, has characterised the authorities’s prosecution as nothing greater than a fabrication, in response to the protection. Throughout closing arguments, protection lawyer Dane Butswinkas said: “We have a case that is built on guesswork, speculation and conjecture. My kids would call it click bait. The headline looks alluring. It looks good. But when you click on it, there’s just nothing there.”
“The government’s very powerful,” he continued. “They have a lot of resources. You heard from a lot of different departments of the FBI. But Nick has something even more powerful. And what he has are the two words that protect us all in our criminal justice system, two words that have held up for over two centuries: reasonable doubt.”
On August 6, 2018, the morning session and afternoon session of closing arguments was introduced to the jury and Slatten’s retrial concluded, and the case was given to the jury to start deliberation.
After 16 days of deliberation, on September 5, 2018, the jury filed a observe, stating “we are unable to reach a unanimous decision.” U.S. District Decide Royce C. Lamberth declared a mistrial in the case of United States of America vs. Nicholas Abram Slatten.
Click on on graphic under for Sept 18 J.M. Phelps publish:
ROUND THREE Blackwater’s Slatten nonetheless standing towards massive gov’t, Dealing with third Trial
Free Raven 23 is a motion devoted to securing the freedom of Nick Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, and Dustin Heard. These 4 males are adorned veterans and former Division of State contractors who operated in Iraq underneath the name signal Raven 23. In 2007, whereas responding to a automotive bomb assault in a Baghdad warfare zone, Raven 23 took incoming hearth and confronted a automotive bomb menace, and a number of other members of the workforce (together with ones who weren’t prosecuted) took crucial, defensive actions. Tragically, civilians have been killed and injured, and in the aftermath, beneath monumental strain from the Iraqi authorities, the United States authorities accused Dustin, Evan, Nick, and Paul of crimes. And it did so regardless of overwhelming proof that Raven 23 was fired upon, although not a single bullet or bullet fragment related ANY of these males to any alleged sufferer, and regardless that one OTHER member of Raven 23 admitted that he had fired wildly into the crowd with out positively figuring out threats.
As a result of the males of Raven 23 have been serving underneath a State Division contract at the time, our courts have (wrongly) interpreted federal regulation as permitting the United States authorities to prosecute them in civilian courtroom, beneath the Army Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act. In 2014, after years of authorized wrangling, together with the complete case being thrown out as a result of the authorities recklessly violated their constitutional rights, Dustin, Evan, Nick, and Paul have been tried earlier than a civilian jury in Washington, DC, and wrongly convicted. In 2015, Nick was sentenced to life, and Dustin, Evan, and Paul have been sentenced to 30 years and a day. In 2017, the D.C. Circuit Courtroom of Appeals overturned Nick’s conviction as a result of proof of his innocence was wrongly hidden from his jury. The federal government was unsuccessful in convincing a second civilian jury to convict Nick, and a mistrial was declared. Nevertheless, regardless of revelations of extra exculpatory proof and authorities misconduct throughout Nick’s second trial, the United States introduced its intent to attempt Nick a 3rd time. Jury choice is set to start October 29, 2018. In 2017, the appeals courtroom additionally overturned one of Evan’s convictions, overturned Evan, Dustin, and Paul’s 30-year sentences, and ordered that these three males be resentenced. In Might 2018, the United States Supreme Courtroom refused to intervene, permitting Dustin and Paul’s convictions and all however one of Evan’s convictions to face. These three males have been sitting in federal prisons for over a yr with out sentences as a result of the trial courtroom has but to comply with the appellate courtroom’s mandate to resentence them.
First, we need to right the public false impression that Nick, Paul, Evan, and Dustin indiscriminately opened hearth on harmless civilians in Nisur Sq.. Utilizing trial proof and testimony—most of which was launched by the authorities, not the protection—the web site exhibits in nice element that Nick didn’t truly shoot or kill the individual he was convicted of murdering and that Paul, Evan, and Dustin clearly perceived threats and acted in self-defense.
- Nick didn’t homicide the driver of the white Kia. We all know this as a result of:
- There is no proof Nick shot, not to mention killed, the driver
- No witness noticed Nick shoot the driver
- No bodily proof hyperlinks Nick or his weapon to the driver
- Nobody testified to any assertion by Nick that he shot or killed the driver
- There is no proof Nick fired the first photographs in Nisur Sq.. The federal government misrepresents the grand jury testimony of one witness from the staff to say that he heard Nick shoot first, despite the fact that this witness testified throughout the similar continuing that he heard different photographs earlier than Nick’s. Throughout Nick’s second trial, we discovered that the authorities secured this witness’s testimony when he was affected by psychological sickness and taking narcotics, despite the fact that that was by no means disclosed to Nick, and Nick’s group didn’t have an opportunity to cross-examine the witness earlier than the grand jury.
- The federal government’s personal proof proves another person killed the driver
- Statements given instantly after the incident by a codefendant—statements which Nick’s unique jury didn’t get to listen to however his new jury will—conclusively show Nick didn’t kill the driver as a result of this codefendant (an up gunner) did so in self-defense
- One other of Nick’s codefendants has confirmed that the one that made these statements, NOT Nick, shot the driver
- The federal government cooperator and admitted wrongdoer (who was additionally an up gunner) testified that he fired what he believed have been the first photographs by means of the Kia’s windshield after he noticed the up gunner on the staff who admitted to killing the driver capturing at the Kia
- Quite a few witnesses (together with Iraqis) testified that the first photographs fired from the group got here from the up gunners (which was NOT Nick’s place). One of them testified that he is 100% sure the first photographs that killed the Kia’s driver got here from the one that admitted to killing the driver. One other testified that photographs got here from inside the car (Nick’s place), however ONLY AFTER the Kia’s driver had already been killed.
- Bodily proof—a bullet fragment pulled from the Kia’s steering wheel—matches the sort of weapon utilized by the up gunners (which is totally different from Nick’s weapon)
- Extra bodily proof—a bullet gap in the metallic body of the Kia’s headrest—was claimed by the authorities to be the kill shot . . . UNTIL a trajectory skilled testified it was inconceivable the shot was fired from Nick’s place inside the car and, as an alternative, got here from an up gunner.
- The federal government’s star witness testified Nick suppressed an lively shooter
- The Division of State collected enemy shell casings from the exact location that Nick said he suppressed an lively shooter (i.e., NOT the Kia’s driver), accounting for the two photographs Nick is alleged to have fired and establishing that the staff acquired incoming hearth
- The Kia driver’s father refused to testify towards Nick as a result of the authorities advised him that another person (i.e., the codefendant who admitted to killing the driver in self-defense instantly after the incident) killed his son
- There is no proof Nick shot, not to mention killed, the driver
- Paul, Evan, and Dustin took needed and justified actions to defend themselves and their group towards a reasonably-perceived automotive bomb menace (the white Kia) and incoming enemy hearth. We all know this as a result of:
- Authorities prosecutors admitted throughout oral arguments in the Raven 23 attraction on January 17, 2017, that the ENEMY fired first
- A minimum of 9 individuals on the group (however not Nick) both fired on the Kia in self-defense or stated the Kia might have fairly been perceived as a menace
- The Division of State concluded the workforce took incoming hearth “from armed gunmen, including Iraqi police, from at least five locations” round the sq.
- The Division of State discovered enemy shell casings in the exact location Nick advised them that he had suppressed an lively shooter
- One of the staff’s automobiles was so badly broken by incoming hearth that it was disabled and needed to be towed from the sq.
- Stay motion communication logs doc incoming hearth being referred to as in
- A 3rd-party witness and weapons skilled who was in the space testified that he heard a transparent, two-way gunfight and that AK-47 (i.e., enemy) shells fell in his location behind the convoy
- Dustin Heard’s arm was burned by a tracer spherical fired at the convoy
- Eyewitnesses in helicopters noticed weapons and Iraqi police uniforms being faraway from the scene
Whereas the document exhibits that Nick, Paul, Evan, and Dustin didn’t commit crimes in Nisur Sq., the report additionally exhibits that one member of the staff—the authorities’s star witness—admitted to indiscriminately firing over 100 rounds into the crowd. Whereas this man’s admitted misconduct had tragic penalties, Nick, Paul, Evan, and Dustin shouldn’t have been discovered responsible by affiliation for his crimes—both in a courtroom of regulation or in the courtroom of public opinion.
Expose Rights Violations that Led to Unjust Convictions
Second, we need to spotlight egregious rights violations perpetrated by the authorities to unjustly convict these males, together with:
- Accepting the Iraqi Nationwide Police’s biased and botched investigation, together with counting on a lead investigator that U.S. intelligence exhibits has suspected insurgency ties, accepting a scene that had been cleansed, and sponsoring the testimony of witnesses who had been solicited by tv ads and coached by the time the FBI arrived in Iraq three weeks after the incident
- Prosecuting them in the improper venue underneath a regulation that doesn’t apply to them
- Hiding exculpatory proof
- Knowingly presenting perjured testimony
- Vindictively pursuing a homicide cost towards Nick after he efficiently asserted his proper to not be prosecuted for manslaughter regardless of having clear proof Nick didn’t kill the alleged sufferer
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