watada won't get a second court martial

Citing the constitutional protections against being tried twice for the same crime, a federal judge ruled this week that 1st Lt. Ehren Watada cannot face a second court martial on three of five counts resulting from his refusal to deploy to Iraq in 2006: Watada won't be retried on 3 of 5 counts.

However, the ruling does leave open the possibility of a second prosecution on two other counts involving conduct unbecoming an officer. The judge abstained from ruling on the constitutionality of these charges, saying it was up to a military court to consider the possible "constitutional defects" of a second court-martial.

The Army had sought a second court-martial trial on the five counts against Watada, which could have carried a sentence of up to six years in prison. We'll have to see if the Army chooses to dismiss the remaining two charges.

Unfortunately, the ruling keeps Watada, who has been assigned to a desk job since his refusal to deploy, in kind of legal limbo. He's still not going anywhere. More on the ruling here: Judge rules for officer who refused Iraq duty.

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