Marine A, outed. Throughought his court-martial a British Marine accussed of murder downrange was called Marine A, and his co-accused's were Marines B., C., D., and E.. Marine A's name became public after his conviction, but not the others.
Airing on Channel 4 this Sunday is War and Justice: The Case of Marine A – a documentary special looking at Alexander Blackman, the first British soldier to be convicted of murder on a foreign battlefield since World War II.
Lauren Morris, War and Justice: The Case of Marine A true story – where is Alexander Blackman now? July 28, 2022.
British courts, inlcuding courts-martial can grant anonimity, sometimes called name suppression, to an accused, just as can be given to alleged victims. The authority comes from statute and extends to the press and media. New Zealand has something similar. Rule 153, Armed Forces (Court Martial) Rules, United Kingdom (2009) (“The court may give leave for any name or other matter given in evidence in proceedings to be withheld from the public.”). See also, Memorandum 11. Practice in Service Courts Collected Memoranda, Office of the Judge Advocate General (United Kindgom, (1 Sept. 2016); Fiona Jackson, What’s in a Name? Name Suppression and the Need for Public Interest, Research Paper Law & Social Policy, Victoria Univ. of Wellington (New Zealand) 2005 (discussing “name suppression” generally).
"The [CAAF] has allowed a caption that described a writ petitioner only as a Navy judge advocate, in order to avoid potential reputational injury. Navy Judge Advocate v. Cedarburg, 12 M.J. 315 (C.M.A. 1981) (mem.);" see also, Doe v. Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, 60 M.J. 455 (C.A.A.F. 2005) (mem.) and other cases discussed in para. 8.03, Fidell, Eugene R.; Fissell, Brenner M.; Sullivan, Dwight H.. Guide to the Rules of Practice and Procedure for the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
Whilst the charges against Marines D and E were dropped, Marines A (Blackman), B and C pleaded not guilty and in October 2012, an interim order prohibiting the identification of all five Marines was made on the grounds that there was "a real and immediate risk to their lives".
Blackman was released in 2917 and later wrote an autobigpraphy, with a forward by Frederick Forsyth--Marine A: The Truth about the Murder Conviction. He says,
'This book chronicles my young life, my recruitment and training, my first deployments, and then my experiences in the Middle East, where I fought first in Iraq, and later completed two tours of duty in Helmand, Afghanistan - before finally confronting the final moment of my 2011 tour, and the killing of the Afghan insurgent which led to my conviction for murder.
Disclaimer: Posts are the authors' personal views and do not reflect the position of any organization or government agency.
-Current Term Opinions
Joint R. App. Pro.