Posted by: dbrandonw | October 19, 2009

Oklahoma Congressional Delegation Rallies Behind Lt Behenna As Clemency Hearing Begins

To all of Michael’s Supporters,

On March 20, 2009, as Michael was being taken into Army custody, he said to his mother that he thought everyone would forget about him and the injustice that had befallen him. Although Vicki pledged our family’s undying support, we could only hope and pray that others would join in his fight for justice.

When we learned this week that our Congresswoman, Mary Fallin, had worked with Sen. Jim Inhofe, Sen. Tom Coburn, Rep. Tom Cole, Rep. John Sullivan, Rep. Dan Boren, and Rep. Frank Lucas to prepare a clemency letter for Michael, we felt truly blessed. We Oklahomans know the feeling of coming together to support one another. In the same way, our entire Congressional Delegation, including both Senators, and all five Congressmen, signed and sent a letter this week to the Army Clemency Board, which is in the initial phase of considering Michael’s sentence. We are appreciative that the Congressional Delegation took the time to send the letter and we applaud their commitment to ensuring justice is applied fairly and consistently for all soldiers. We are also proud that Governor Brad Henry, District Attorney David Prater, and former US Attorney Robert McCampbell issued statements yesterday about Michael’s clemency.

We are very proud to be Oklahomans and parents of 1LT Michael Behenna!

Thanks to everyone who has helped keep Michael’s story alive in the pursuit of justice. Please find below stories about the congressional letter and the press release by the Oklahoma Delegation. The actual congressional letter can found by clicking the following link:   https://defendmichael.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/clemency-letter-all-ok-delegation.pdf Our fight for justice will continue until justice finally prevails.

Scott & Vicki Behenna

Proud parents of 1LT Michael Behenna

www.defendmichael.com
*Below are news articles covering the Clemency letter.

The Daily Oklahoman, Edmond Sun, and McCarville Report covered the clemency letter written by the Congressional Delegation.  Attached are links to those articles. Daily Oklahoman – http://newsok.com/oklahoma-lawmakers-say-penalty-should-be-consistent/article/3409427

Edmond Sun – http://www.edmondsun.com/local/local_story_289021550.html

McCarville Report (8 Article string) – http://wwwtmrcom.blogspot.com/search?q=behenna

**Below is the press release for the Clemency Letter.

Oklahoma Delegation Expresses Concern as Behenna Clemency Hearing Begins

WASHINGTON- The Oklahoma Congressional Delegation today sent a letter to the Commandant of the United States Disciplinary Barracks, located at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as the Army Clemency and Parole Board begins consideration of 1LT Michael Behenna’s clemency request.

In March, 1LT Behenna was convicted of unpremeditated murder while serving in Iraq and sentenced to 25 years in prison.  Previous cases of similar or more aggravating circumstances, where the defendants were found guilty of premeditated murder, have resulted in less severe sentences, which prompted the delegation’s appeal to the Clemency Board for a careful review of this case and relevant precedent.

“We must ensure the Uniform Military Code of Justice is applied fairly for all of our service men and women and that, when discrepancies arise, we examine the circumstances as carefully as possible,” said Congresswoman Mary Fallin (OK-05).  “I am grateful for Mr. Behenna’s service to our country and hope the circumstances of this case are carefully evaluated by the Clemency Board during this process.”

Fallin said today’s hearing was in addition to ongoing efforts to secure a new trial for 1LT Behenna. “Since this case was first brought to our attention, we have never made any presumptions about guilt or innocence.  Our only concern has been due process and the fair and equitable distribution of justice for our service men and women,” said Fallin.

Rep. John Sullivan (OK-01) commented, “Our hard working men and women in uniform deserve every opportunity for a fair trial, and 1LT Behenna is no exception.  It is my sincere hope that all due consideration will be given to 1LT Behenna’s case during this clemency hearing.”

Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04) commented, “Like all Americans, Lt. Behenna deserves fair and impartial justice.  As the Clemency Board moves forward with further consideration, they would do well to base their decision on the unique circumstances of his case.  Lt. Behenna’s sentence, if he’s guilty at all, should be appropriate to what he is convicted of – not unduly excessive due to political or public pressure.  I urge the Clemency Board to move forward thoughtfully.”

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