Gosar Calls for Release of First Sergeant John Hatley
Today, U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after joining members of the Justice for Warriors Caucus at 1SG John Hatley’s hearing before the Army Clemency and Parole Board in Arlington, Virginia:
“Innocent until proven guilty. The rule of law. These are words that echo in every court across our country. These words are rooted in the creation of our nation. Sadly, for 1SG John Hatley, the Uniform Code of Military Justice does not currently operate under these sacred principles. In fact, the system failed John. He served his country for nearly twenty years in the United States Army as a Paratrooper, Ranger and Infantryman. He was awarded two Bronze Stars, an Army Commendation Medal for Valor, and a Ranger Tab, to name a few, attesting to the level of his commitment to his country. Despite his distinguished record of service, John was convicted of killing detainees solely on testimony with no physical or forensic evidence, no identified victims, or reports of missing persons being presented at trial. This was a rushed case; a case that went from combat to court martial to confinement. Injustice has been done, and this Caucus is ensuring that it will not be done again. John is a man of good character who deserves nothing more than to return to his family and live a happy, productive life. Free 1SG John Hatley.”
1SG John Hatley is a 49-year-old Texas native who served almost 20 years in the Army with an otherwise excellent and longstanding combat and military. He was convicted of killing detainees in a war zone in Iraq during a routine patrol in early 2007. The Criminal Investigation Division (CID) conducted a thorough investigation into these matters and found no physical or forensic evidence to indicate a murder had been committed. Based initially on the word of one soldier who was soon to be subject to disciplinary action at the recommendation of 1SG Hatley, and the testimony at trial of two young soldiers who changed their stories when threatened by prosecutors with potential life sentences as co-conspirators, 1SG Hatley was convicted of premeditated murder even though there were no bodies found nor any reports of missing persons from family or friends of the purported victims.John has served nearly 10 years of a 25-year sentence at the United Stated Disciplinary Barracks (USDB) on Fort Leavenworth, KS.
In August 2017, John became eligible for parole pursuant to Army Regulation (AR) 15-130, Army Clemency and Parole Board, Chapter 3-1e. That year, the Army Clemency and Parole Board recommended release. However, the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Francine Blackmon, in a rare action, disapproved the Board and determined not to parole John. She determined that the severity of his convictions required additional incarceration notwithstanding John’s perfect record and assignment to minimum security. She made this determination without being present at John’s parole hearing where friends and family members advocated on his behalf.
On September 19, the Justice for Warriors Caucus sent a letter to the Army Review Board Agency formally requesting the release of 1SG John Hatley. Read the letter HERE.