Fort Bragg commander approves Hennis conviction, death sentence
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By Drew Brooks
Fayetteville Observer

Fort Bragg's acting commander has approved the conviction and death sentence imposed on Timothy Hennis after a court-martial in April 2010.

Hennis, a former Fort Bragg soldier, was convicted of killing a woman and two of her daughters in Fayetteville in 1985.

The case, which has been the subject of a book and a television miniseries, has spread over four decades and includes three trials - two in civilian courts and the third in military court.

Maj. Gen. Rodney O. Anderson, acting senior commander of the 18th Airborne Corps, on Jan. 26 approved the findings of the latest trial, according to a Fort Bragg spokeswoman, who released the information Wednesday.

Anderson has been commanding in lieu of Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, who returned from a deployment to Iraq late last year. Helmick resumes command today.

The case now goes to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals for further review.

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he be convicted after, apparently more than one trial, and receive the death sentence.

Yet Jeffrey MacDonald was convicted of murdering his wife and 2 children, also aboard Fort Bragg, and he only received life imprisonment.

Perhaps the dates of the incidents. MacDonald was convicted for something which occurred in the 1960s, following a trial in Raleigh in 1979 or 1980.

For that matter, Scott, MacDonald has been held in Wilmington as he awaits another appeal. I am surprised you have not had someone interview him.

if the criminal proceedings take place in different sovereigns. Both the state and federal government may charge an offender for the same crime if there is a legal basis for doing so. In other words, if his actions constituted a violation of state and federal law then they are both free to prosecute. Military servicemembers are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), which is federal law, at all times and in all places.

It is rarely used because of a desire to control costs, but as you said, any time a crime violates both state and federal law, both can prosecute. (Such as robbing an FDIC insured bank, violating both state and federal law)

Now, up until the early nineties it WAS considered de facto double jeopardy if one jurisdiction totally acquitted the defendent and the evidence at trial indicated that it was impossible for the defendent to have committed the crime. That all changed with the trial of the four LAPD officers accused of beating Rodney King. They were acquitted in state court on charges of assault. The meant that the jury said that there was no assault.

However, the feds turned around and charged them under 18 USC 242 for violation of civil rights. An assault was instrumental and necssary as the tool used in that charge, and the state jury had ruled there was no assault....but out of fear of further civil unrest in South Central LA they were railroaded and sent to prison.

When the Supreme Court refused to hear that case, our protections as citizens were made a bit weaker. The resounding message from that case was, "Politics will trump the Constitution when necessary."

I questioned why one got the death penalty and the other got life in prison with the possibility of parole.

That was my question. I asked nothing about double jeapordy.

My guess is you are an attorney.

miss it, but since questions are routinely punctuated with question marks I only entertained part of the comment. My guess is that you are not a prior servicemember or you would have, at a minimum, a working knowledge of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The two different criminal proceedings you cited were during the tenure of two different military commanders who made the decisions that he/she saw fit. A General Court-Martial is not quite like a trial in a state court. There are no structured sentencing guidelines. And, no, I'm not an attorney.