Key Documents in Calley My Lai Appeal

QUINN, Judge; DUNCAN, Judge (concurring in the result); DARDEN, Chief Judge (dissenting).
QUINN, Judge:
First Lieutenant Calley stands convicted of the premeditated murder of 22 infants, children, women, and old men, and of assault with intent to murder a child of about 2 years of age. All the killings and the assault took place on March 16, 1968 in the area of the village of May Lai in the Republic of South Vietnam. The Army Court of Military Review affirmed the findings of guilty and the sentence, which, as reduced by the convening authority, includes dismissal and confinement at hard labor for 20 years. The accused petitioned this Court for further review, alleging 30 assignments of error. We granted three of these assignments.
We consider first whether the public attention given the charges was so pernicious as to prevent a fair trial for the accused. At the trial, defense counsel moved to dismiss all the charges on the ground that the pretrial publicity made it impossible for the Government to accord the accused a fair trial. The motion was denied. It is contended that the ruling was wrong.
The defense asserts, and the Government concedes, that the pretrial publicity was massive. The defense perceives the publicity as virtulent and vicious. At trial, it submitted a vast array of newspaper stories, copies of national news magazines, transcripts of television interviews, and editorial comment.Counsel also referred to comments by the President in which he alluded to the deaths as a "massacre" and to similar remarks by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Army, and various members of Congress. Before us, defense counsel contend that the decisions of the United States Supreme Court in Marshall v United States, 360 US 310 (1959), Irvin v Dowd, 366 US 717 (1961),  and Sheppard v Maxwell, 384 US 333 (1966) require reversal of this conviction. In our opinion, neither the cited cases, nor others dealing with pretrial publicity and its effect upon an accused's constitutional right to a fair trial, mandate that result.
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