Speaking shortly after the judge declared a mistrial in the court-martial of Lt. Ehren Watada on Feb. 7, 2007, attorney Eric Seitz explained his “professional opinion” that the prohibition on double jeopardy applies to the present case and that therefore “Lt. Watada cannot be tried again because of the effect of double jeopardy.”  --  A transcript of Seitz’s remarks[1] is followed by a YouTube video of him delivering them to reporters.[2] ...

1.

[Transcript]

ERIC SEITZ ON WATADA COURT-MARTIAL MISTRIAL
United for Peace of Pierce County (WA)
February 7, 2007

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN08jdUmPGk

“First I want you to understand that a mistrial in a case of this significance is a very rare occurrence, and when it happens, it has potentially very significant effects.

“In this case, it is my professional opinion that Lt. Watada cannot be tried again because of the effect of double jeopardy.

“As you all know, we did not consent to a mistrial. We did not ask for a mistrial. We did nothing to warrant a mistrial. The judge made all of his rulings himself, or based upon motions by the government. Once jeopardy has attached -- and it clearly did attach in this case, when the jury panel was sworn in, and when the first witness testified -- the protection against double jeopardy applies as a constitutional matter, and there may be arguments that could be made by the government to try to get around that, and we will probably have a lively discussion of it, but the first motion we file when they attempt to bring this case back will be a motion to dismiss with prejudice based upon double jeopardy.

“And if that motion is not granted, we will immediately take an interlocutory appeal, because we believe that even the military appellate courts will agree with us, that the circumstances under which the judge acted today were an abuse of his discretion, and that there was no justification whatsoever, either for the subject inquiry to be brought up in the manner which it was, for the additional inquiry of Lt. Watada, in which he elicited statements which he then purported to utilize to criticize and withdraw the stipulation of facts to which the government and the defense had agreed last week when two of the charges were dismissed in return for our agreement that we would stipulate to facts to avoid the necessity for reporters to testify.

“The case is now back in a posture that it was in some weeks or months ago, and I do not believe it will ever be resurrected, or ever can be resurrected.

“Our hope is at this point that the Army will realize that this case is a hopeless mess, that this has not been created by the defense -- the defense has been very consistent in the positions and the arguments that we have take; Lt. Watada has been extremely consistent in his arguments and his claims -- and therefore we are now in a position because of the government and rulings of the court that we think are erroneous and will have the consequence of ending these proceedings altogether.”

--Transcribed by Mark Jensen

2.

[Video]

ERIC SEITZ ON WATADA COURT-MARTIAL MISTRIAL

February 7, 2007

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN08jdUmPGk