Thursday, April 5, 2018

Downtown court-martial

Roman L. Hruska U.S. Courthouse
Omaha, Nebraska
An Offutt Air Force Base general court-martial involving a murder charge is being tried at the federal courthouse in Omaha, according to this Associated Press account. How come?

The editor once defended a week-long court-martial at the state courthouse in downtown Mobile, Alabama. Seems like a good way to improve public understanding of the military justice system. How often does it happen?


  1. The Omaha World-Herald explains: "The court-martial was moved from a small courtroom at Offutt Air Force Base to the Roman L. Hruska Federal Courthouse in downtown Omaha to allow more space for observers. About 20 people attended the first day of a trial and sentencing that is scheduled to continue until Tuesday."

  2. [Standard disclaimer: This comment is made solely in my personal capacity and shouldn't be imputed to any other person or entity.] According to the Omaha World-Herald, the military judge in the case is the Chief Judge of the Air Force Trial Judiciary, Vance Spath. Judge Spath previously tried a high-visibility court-martial case in a civilian courthouse. He was the lead prosecutor in the capital court-martial case of United States v. Witt, which "was held at the Bibb County Courthouse in Macon, Georgia." United States v. Witt, 72 M.J. 727, 751 (A.F. Ct. Crim. Appl. 2013) (en banc).


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