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The Champion

June 2018 , Page 14 

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NACDL News: Court Vacates Contempt Conviction Against Marine Brig. Gen. John Baker, Chief Defense Counsel for the Military Commissions

By Ivan J. Dominguez and Ian Nawalinski

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On June 18, 2018, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth vacated the criminal contempt conviction against Marine Brig. Gen. John Baker, the Chief Defense Counsel for the Military Commissions Defense Organization (MCDO). In a 27-page opinion, the court found that Military Judge Spath’s summary conviction of Gen. Baker was “unlawful because only a military commission acting through its regularly constituted members is authorized to convict a person of any offense under Chapter 47A” and “a military judge is not a member of a military commission nor is he ‘the military commission’ within the meaning of that chapter.”

Photo by Zach Schermerhorn
Brigadier General John G. Baker, USMC

On Nov. 1, 2017, Judge Spath held Gen. Baker in contempt and sentenced him to 21 days confinement in his quarters and a $1,000 fine. Spath held Baker in contempt after Baker’s determination on Oct. 13, 2017, that there was good cause to allow the withdrawal of three civilian members of the defense team in the case

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  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
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