Court Martial to Preside over Death of Pvt. Danny Chen

Written by NY Press on . Posted in Blog, News Our Town Downtown, Our Town Downtown.


Soldiers Connected to Pvt. Danny Chin’s Suicide To Be Held on Trial on U.S. Soil

On Apr. 11,  The Regional Command-South, CJTF-82  commander has requested, and the commander, XVIII Airborne Corps, Ft. Bragg, NC. has agreed to accept court-martial jurisdiction over the eight Soldiers charged in relation to the death of Pvt. Danny Chen.

Pvt. Danny Chen, of Chinatown and Alphabet City, died of an "apparent self inflicted gunshot wound" in Afghanistan on Oct. 3, 2011.

This news comes as a small victory for those involved with Chen’s situation, who had been advocating for the soldiers linked to Chen’s suicide to be held on trial in the United States. For measures of transparency, city members like Margaret Chin argued for the soliders to stand trial without the shroud of military proceedings that an international court martialing might allow for.

“As this process moves forward, the Army must respect the Chen family’s request to hold these trials in the United States,” Chin said in a statement last month. “There has been enough secrecy. Serious charges have been leveled and dropped with no explanation. The Army must ensure these trials are transparent and the only way to do that is by holding them in the United States.”

And on Apr. 11, Margaret Chin released a further statement in response to the news from the change in court martial jurisdiction.

“I want to thank the U.S. Army for recognizing the importance of convening the court-martials in the Private Danny Chen case in the United States,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “There are still steps that must be taken before these individuals stand trial, however the leadership at Fort Bragg in North Carolina has accepted jurisdiction over the court-martials in this case.”

However, Chin also cautioned that there is no cause for celebration, and that in no way has the pain of Chen’s suicide been abaited by this small step.

“From the beginning, we have demanded that the Army hold these trials on U.S. soil because that is the only way to ensure transparency and accountability in this case. I am confident that the charges against these eight individuals will be referred to court-martial and that Private Chen’s family will finally get to face those responsible for the death of their only son,” said Chin.

If the court martial convening authority refers the cases to trial, the judge will arraign the soldiers and the cases will be docketed for trial, according to the U.S. Army. If referred to trial, the military judge assigned to this case will determine when the courts-martial will be held.

Pvt. Daniel Chen would have celebrated his 20th birthday in May, 2012. In celebration of his life, the OCA-NY will release plans in a press conference to be held on Apr. 12, 2012.

 

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