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Analysis Of US Marine Murder Case In A Few Good Men Film

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HUMSS-11 FACTS OF THE CASE: Private William T. Santiago, a Marine at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba was not that good of a soldier as he was always left out during trainings, performed badly due to his health issues, and did not care about his other fellowmen. He wrote a letter stating that he experiences health problems such as nausea and dizziness and was even pushed down the hill by his sergeant. With those encounters, he only asks to be transferred out of Guantanamo. Lance Corporal Dawson and Private Downey were now accused of killing Private William T. Santiago. When this reached Lieutenant Commander JoAnne Galloway, she was certain that both Marines didn’t just murder Private Santiago; instead, they were instructed to carry out a Code Red.

A Code Red is a violent practice that is unwritten and illegal. Lieutenant Commander Galloway wanted to defend the Marines when she heard the news but lawyer Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee was assigned to defend them. He was actually an inexperienced lawyer and known for proposing plea bargains so he pushed through with this during the case. Dawson and Downey refuses the bargain (involuntary manslaughter) that Kaffee proposed even if he says that they will be home in 6 months. It was a possibility that Santiago died due to a coronary condition and not lactic acidosis. In the medical records, there was no confirmation of any type of poison present in Santiago’s body but the doctor said that it is possible that some poisons won’t be detected immediately. However, because he had a coronary condition, even had a clean rag pushed deep down his throat, and experienced shortness of breath and fatigue, he could have possibly died because his health issues sped up the process.

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ISSUES/ PROBLEMS: At the start of the case, Kaffee and Galloway did not agree with each other; hence, the case was still not on the process of receiving its justice. Kaffee was not very enthusiastic about defending the case because he was more focused on his softball games. Galloway, on the other hand, will always interfere and judge Kaffee to make him work hard on the case. She also disliked how Kaffee’s style of being a lawyer is to always propose plea bargains as it is such a coward attitude for a lawyer not to defend and bring justice to what’s really behind an issue. However, the argument between the lawyers settled down when Kaffee decided to bring the case to the court and uncover the conspiracy that the two Marines were simply asked by a commanding officer to call Code Red. Dawson and Downey were very neutral and quite dishonest with Kaffee and Galloway. During their first meeting they still acted full-on Marine; they were very stern and kept on mentioning their code, “Unit, Corps, God, and Country. ” Obviously, Kaffee can’t proceed with the court having those lines alone, he needs more than that. With Dawson and Downey not being entirely open with their lawyers, there was a major downfall at the trial.

Captain Jack Ross summoned Downey and found out that he did not directly hear that they were ordered a Code Red because he was still not on their barrack rooms at 4: 20 PM. Dawson and Downey said that it was Lieutenant Kendrick who ordered the Code Red but one night, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Markinson showed up at Kaffee’s car and revealed that Jessup demanded the Code Red. At the course of the trial, Jessup acted as if he was completely unaware of the case of Santiago yet it was really him who wanted to torture Santiago. Jessup protected himself by placing the responsibility of Santiago’s death to Dawson and Downey. Colonel Jessup was called by Kaffee to be at the witness stand because he wanted to hear that it was him who ordered the Code Red. It was a risk for their trial’s success but Galloway was very enthusiastic about placing Jessup to the stand. During the testimony, Jessup was extremely boastful and kept on outsmarting Kaffee. Jessup kept on leading Kaffee away, thinking that he could escape the pressure that the lawyer was giving him.

RULING/ ANSWER/SOLUTION: Finally, because of Kaffee’s eagerness to get the truth out, Jessup snaps and confesses that he was the one who ordered the Code Red. He had a lot to say about what he did (wanting to justify himself as he was of a higher rank) but he was silenced and was arrested.

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