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Thursday, November 24, 2016


Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!  To all the American military families out there, particularly those separated from each other due to military service, a very special thank you.  In the words of USMC Father Dennis Edward O'Brien: 


It is the soldier,
not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the soldier,
not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier,
not the campus organizer,
who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier,
not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the soldier,
who salutes the flag,
who serves under the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protesters to burn the flag.


Pilgrim Edward Winslow describes the first Thanksgiving in 1621:

Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

Friday, November 11, 2016


Please take some time today to reflect on, and thank, those brave veterans who have served and protected our country in the past, those who are currently serving our country, and the families who support and share in their sacrifices for us.  Have a wonderful and meaningful Veterans Day!

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

A Legal Acknowledgement that they were "The Wrong Guys"

This book, by Tom Wells and Richard Leo, chronicles how U.S. Navy Sailors ("The Norfolk Four") were manipulated and psychologically coerced into confessing to a heinous crime they did not commit.  Now, two of the four have just had their convictions overturned.  A third previously had his conviction overturned.  The fourth already served out his sentence. 

Here are the latest stories (many others about the case can be found online):

Yes, while it may be counter-intuitive, people do confess to crimes they didn't commit when faced with psychologically manipulative and coercive interrogation tactics meant to send the message that the evidence is stacked against them and they will be convicted, so they need to confess to take responsibility and help mitigate the situation...

By: Attorney Richard V. Stevens
Civilian criminal defense lawyer and military defense lawyer
Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.

Blog postscript: Attorney Frank J. Spinner and I (attorney Richard V. Stevens) are former active duty military lawyers (JAG). Our perspectives and advice, therefore, are based upon our experience as military defense lawyers and as civilian criminal defense lawyers practicing exclusively in the area of military law and military justice. This blog addresses issues in military law, military justice, military discipline, military defense, court-martial practice, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and other military and/or legal topics. Nothing posted in this blog should be substituted for legal advice in any particular case. If you seek legal advice for a particular case, please contact The Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens and The Law Office of Frank J. Spinner for a free consultation. These military defense law offices are located in Southern Georgia (Robins AFB, Moody AFB, Macon, Warner Robins areas), Northern/Middle Florida (Pensacola, Ft Walton, Destin, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field, Duke Field, Panama City, Tyndall AFB areas) and Colorado Springs, Colorado (FT Carson, Peterson AFB, Air Force Academy, Schriever AFB, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Buckley AFB areas), but our military defense law practices are worldwide – we travel to wherever our clients are stationed or serving and need us.