Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Sleeping Defendant 

In recent years the issue of whether an adequate defense could be presented by attorneys alleged to have napped during hearings, but now it's an issue for a napping defendant. The Washington Post reports that Colonel Patrick Parrish, the military judge presiding over the case of Sgt. Hasan Akbar, is fed up with the defendant falling asleep during his trial. Apparently the defendant has untreated sleep apnea. Col. Parrish has ordered Sgt. Akbar's defense attorneys to deal with their client's medical condition. The defense team has requested that the government provide treatment, arguing that beyond treatment, there is nothing they can do to guarantee his alertness levels.

Sgt. Akbar is on trial for a grenade attack on fellow U.S. soldiers in Kuwait last March. His attorneys have also taken issue with the fact that all the jurors outrank the defendant, and have requested that either the death penalty be removed as an option or that members of other military branches be included on the jury.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:05 PM