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Lakin withdraws appeal

In breaking news, LTC Terry Lakin, the Army doctor that was convicted of disobeying orders in a quixotic attempt to resolve questions about Barack Obama’s birthplace, has withdrawn the appeal of his sentence, clearing the way for his complete discharge from the Army. The court said:

Appellant, after consultation with his appellate defense counsel, requests withdrawal of his case from appellate review.

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED:

That withdrawal of this appeal pursuant to Article 61 ( b ), Uniform Code of Military Justice, is granted. The record of trial is returned to  The Judge Advocate General for action pursuant to Rule for Courts-Martial 1112 [hyperlink to Rule].

Recall that as long as Terry Lakin is in the Army, he is severely limited by the UCMJ in regards to making disparaging remarks about Barack Obama, and in particular pursuing a new career as an anti-Obama celebrity and a star attraction at the Birther Summit next March. If Lakin had continued his appeal, he probably would not have been out in time for the Summit.

H/t to Phil Cave.

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28 Responses to Lakin withdraws appeal

  1. avatar
    Phil Cave August 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    And h/t to Dwight Sullivan for getting the court record and posting it for us.

    I’m not certain how long this process will take. It should be fairly quick for the 1112 review. Then it will be at the Secretary of the Army for approval of the dismissal. I am quite certain it will be done well before the Summit.

  2. avatar
    Phil Cave August 2, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    Again courtesy of Dwight Sullivan, and also Fogbow.

    Here is a link to the record of trial. For those who care to read it you may wish to compare what is written with what Dwight and I have reported as to what happened at trial, with the reports of others. In particular you will find the point where the judge read into the record (for public consumption of those in the audience) her ruling on the lawfulness of the order. You will read what the audience heard, and again, will be able to compare what the judge actually said with what certain “reporters” reported.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/61479490/LTC-TERRENCE-LAKIN-TRANSCRIPT-OF-RECORD-PROCEEDINGS-OF-A-GENERAL-COURT-MARTIAL-LAKIN-Transcript-Redacted-Copy

    QED

  3. avatar
    Phil Cave August 2, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    TLAF:

    “Concerning Appeals: The process has begun to accelerate Terry’s discharge and skip the appeals for now (there is a secondary process that can optionally be pursued at a later date). His charges remain. Terry will recieve a formal dismissal which is customary for officers involved in a court martial.”

    As Dwight points out on CAAFLog: No. He does not have another avenue of legal appeals once the Dismissal is ordered executed by the SECA his case will be over, done, finished, complete. As Dwight observes, to of had a chance at collateral review in a federal court he would have to show that he’d exhausted his remedies and that the military appellate courts had not properly considered his federal constitutional issues. By withdrawing from appellate review in the military courts he can’t argue that the military courts failed to adequately review his claims. Dwight will likely have a more pithy explanation.

  4. avatar
    J. Potter August 2, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    My prophecy continues to hold 😉

  5. avatar
    ZixiOfIx August 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

    This doesn’t surprise me at all.

    I do wonder how much progress Mr. Lakin has made toward getting his medicial licensing where he lives and if the Court Martial will have any effect on that licensing?

  6. avatar
    Rickey August 2, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    ZixiOfIx:

    I do wonder how much progress Mr. Lakin has made toward getting his medicial licensing where he lives and if the Court Martial will have any effect on that licensing?

    He is still licensed in Maryland, license no. H65423. His current license there expires on 9/30/12.

    Perhaps Phil Cave could tell us if the Army is likely to report his conviction to the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. In most states physicians are required to self-report any criminal convictions, but sometimes they do not in the hope that the state will never learn about it.

  7. avatar
    Phil Cave August 2, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    I’ll have to check the regulation. Each of the services does have a “credentials” or “privileges” rule that can include non-medicine related misconduct.

    http://www.wramc.army.mil/patients/toknow/accreditation/Pages/default.aspx

  8. avatar
    Zixi of Ix August 2, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    Thank you very much, Rickie and Phil Cave.

    Assuming that it is told, will this be treated as a felony conviction by the Maryland medical board for the purposes of licensing?

  9. avatar
    Phil Cave August 2, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    http://www.apd.army.mil/jw2/xmldemo/r40_68/main.asp

    Chapter 10.

  10. avatar
    Rickey August 2, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    The Maryland Board of Physicians looks at any criminal conviction which involve “moral turpitude.” Their website defines “moral turpitude”:

    Conduct evidencing moral baseness, as determined by the Board, on a case-by-case basis under common law.

    https://www.mbp.state.md.us/bpqapp/glossary.htm

    It will be interesting to see if Maryland takes any action against Lakin’s license.

  11. avatar
    brygenon August 3, 2011 at 2:04 am #

    I’m no fan of birthers, but I don’t think I could describe Lakin as morally base. He went in for a crank theory on this one issue. I doubt it effects his doctoring.

    What’s astonishing is how birthers blame us o-bots for what happened to Lakin. All along we tried to debunk the nonsense that cost him his military career. Lakin is an adult and responsible for his decisions, but those who pitched the theories for which Laken fell should be ashamed.

    It’s not all birthers. Leo Donofrio warned against the disobeying orders tactic.

  12. avatar
    AnotherBird August 3, 2011 at 5:27 am #

    Lakin wants to take Orly Taitz head on. Or, maybe he wants to be part of a tag team with her. Of course that is on the birther circuit.

  13. avatar
    Bovril August 3, 2011 at 6:36 am #

    @brygenon,

    Whilst I agree I think it unlikley that Maryland will use the statute to deny him his license, I disagree that Lakin’s actions were not “morally base”.

    Lakin knew full well his actions had no basis in fact, he stated so in his allocution during his court-martial

    Lakin knew full well his actions would mean that he would NOT deploy with his unit

    Lakin knew full well his actions would necessitate a replacement would be needed on a very short fuse deployment

    Lakin knew full well his replacement would NOT be able to complete training and integration with the medical team.

    Lakins actions led DIRECTLY to (an oath sworn) direct impact on the care of the soldiers he was supposed to help

    There was a direct impact as there was a major casualty event involving 16 injured solidiers on the second day of the replacements deployment

    Lalon showed a depraved indifference for the men and women he was employed and sworn to protect.

    In my opinion that more than meets the standard for “morally base”

    YMMV

  14. avatar
    Phil Cave August 3, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    In an earlier comment I observed that I did not think LTC Lakin could win in federal district court (a Little Tucker Act claim) or the Federal Claims court (Big Tucker Act claim) because he’d not exhausted his remedies. I was gossiping to Dwight just now, and he reminded me of an example of this that might be helpful to your readers.

    Banks v. Commandant is exemplary.

    http://court-martial-ucmj.com/up-periscope/collateral-consequences-msr-program/

  15. avatar
    mikeyes August 3, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    Moral terpitude usually refers to having sex with your patients or fraud but it can cover other issues. Medical examining boards are there to protect patients from incompetent or dangerous doctors and usually try to avoid issues of politics. I’ve mentioned this before, but CAPT Yolanda Huet-Vaughn had an almost identical case of missing a movement and disobeying a direct order due to political causes. She was fined by a very conservative medical examining board in Kansas (I knew several of them personally plus she was in my unit, for a day) instead of losing her license. She is still in practice in Kansas City but will never be on a hospital staff. I suspect that her CM is reportable to the National Data Base (the secret list of doctors who have been arrested, thrown off of hospital staffs, etc.)

    It is very unlikely that Dr Lakin will fit the criteria of moral terpitude as defined by the medical board in MD. He does have a reporting mandate and has to show where he was during the past six months or so but since he is not a felon as defined by MD or the feds and his imprisonment was for something that would only get him fired in the civilian world, it is unlikely he will lose his license in MD or CO (DR-33749 if you want to look it up.)

    In any case, it will take years for this so come to fruition if someone wants to make a case about his license. CAPT Huet-Vaughn didn’t receive her sanction until 1995, four years after her CM and three and a half after her release.

  16. avatar
    Daniel August 3, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    More than whether or not he could retain his license, I’d be more concerned about whether he could find a job.

    What hospital or clinic would touch him, with his record of instability? It’s not like he can hide what he did.

    I suppose he could start up his own practice, but with what money? He probably doesn’t have much left in savings, since he would have to been using that to support his family. Chances are he’s had some credit difficulties as well, so where would he get the loan to set up an office?

    No, I think this is hardly the last of Lakin’s troubles.

  17. avatar
    HeyDoode August 3, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    Lakin refused to treat the wounded in Afghanistan.
    His license should be revoked universally.

    He didn’t get his book deal. Is having to self-publish.

    His web site begs for money for him, and hatemongers
    are making him wealthy.

    I want to know how much money he’s brought in, and who
    is contributing to this. He is an American Terrorist, trying
    to undermine the government from within. The Taliban
    loves him .. probably are biggest contributors.

  18. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 4, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    I try to evaluate things fairly, but one mistake I have made in the case of LTC Lakin is failing to remember that he is severely constrained in what he can say because of military regulations. Rather than a mild, sincere-sounding questioner, he could become as rabid-sounding as Kerchner once he gets out of the Army.

  19. avatar
    mikeyes August 4, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    Daniel: More than whether or not he could retain his license, I’d be more concerned about whether he could find a job.
    What hospital or clinic would touch him, with his record of instability? It’s not like he can hide what he did.

    Docs are in short supply, especially in rural areas and inner cities. It is doubtful that he will get on a hospital staff due to a likely National Data Base entry, but you never know.

    In addition, he is certified as a flight surgeon and and industrial medicine. Those two specialties will allow him to do cash only examinations and consultations if need be. There have been no allegations that he is incompetent nor has he been the subject of investigations in that respect.

    His wife is in practice and it is likely that he could join her.

  20. avatar
    G August 4, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    Sadly, I suspect that is his goal. Reading his initial jail cell postings that his website would put up, it became quickly obvious at that time that this is someone who was not repentant at all. He only regrets being punished. When someone has an attitude like that, it becomes pretty predicatable that as soon as he can get away with it, he’s going to go full metal birther again.

    Dr. Conspiracy: Rather than a mild, sincere-sounding questioner, he could become as rabid-sounding as Kerchner once he gets out of the Army.

  21. avatar
    Sef August 5, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    Aside from a state-issued license to practice medicine, what about his FDA number and the ability to write prescriptions, especially for the “strong stuff”?

  22. avatar
    mikeyes August 5, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    His DEA number should not be in danger unless he has been abusing the privilege. Usually this is started by the state boards as the DEA is not in the business of overseeing medical practices unless someone is convicted (or investigated) for abuse or being a Dr. FeelGood. Nothing like this has occured with Dr. Lakin.

  23. avatar
    Dwight Sullivan August 6, 2011 at 5:49 am #

    In thinking about Dr. Lakin’s medical future, it’s interesting to note that by all accounts, he was a very good military doctor. The prosecution attempted to use that as an aggravating circumstance at his court-martial, arguing that his actions deprived U.S. servicemembers wounded in Afghanistan of the benefit of his medical care. This point was driven home most pointedly through the testimony of the Army doctor who deployed in his place. That doctor came across very well; he was professional and honorable and I have no doubt that he is an excellent doctor. But he had to replace Dr. Lakin on the deployment with very little notice, which prevented him from going through all the normal predeployment work-ups and training. Then, on his second day in country, there was a mass casualty event requiring treatment of 16 wounded soldiers. The doctor candidly testified that he would have been able to give them better medical care had he gone through the work-ups and training that normally precede a deployment. For me, that was the most powerful testimony in the entire trial. It reminds us that LTC Lakin’s crimes weren’t victimless.

  24. avatar
    mikeyes August 6, 2011 at 7:33 am #

    Having gone through both (predeployment training and mass casualty event), I think this is a very good point. Mass casualties are very difficult to deal with because you don’t have enough resources or time to treat all of them at once and it takes special training to be able to triage in a manner that preserves the most lives.

    The training focuses on teamwork and instant decision. Even with training the work is difficult and out of the ordinary experience of medical professionals.

    The abandonment issue is the thing that irked me the most about Dr. Lakin. Had he made his point well before his deployment and not for maximum political effect, then this would have not happened. Even two weeks would have made a difference.

  25. avatar
    Northland10 August 6, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    Dwight Sullivan: it’s interesting to note that by all accounts, he was a very good military doctor.

    This is what as always confused and annoyed me about this case. He has deprived others what a appears to be a talented physician and has placed himself and his family at risk of losing the benefits of his talent.

  26. avatar
    Joey August 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Northland10: This is what as always confused and annoyed me about this case.He has deprived others what a appears to be a talented physician and has placed himself and his family at risk of losing the benefits of his talent.

    That’s what Obama Derangement Syndrome can do. Any obsessive-compulsive disorder can cause an otherwise good and talented person to throw away a career, a family, a marriage, a life.

  27. avatar
    Phil Cave August 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    I agree with Dwight about the impact and effect of the “aggravation” testimony. It is fairly common in the every day AWOL/MM case that the prosecution forgoes calling witnesses or presenting evidence of aggravation and impact on the unit of an AWOL/MM. But I think we all rightly thought the Lakin case to be one of those where it was in the best interest of the government and worth the effort to put on aggravation evidence. Unfortunately some who attended the trial (Lakin supporters) felt the need to denigrate and belittle the impact on the substitute doctor and his family. I found this crass of the Lakin supporters. To me that took away any lingering sympathy or acceptance that their views held were honorable and well intentioned. LTC Lakin and his supporters didn’t care about who they hurt, they didn’t care about the collateral consequences of the actions, they cared only about the political statement. That is selfish, self serving, dishonorable, and shows a lack of [oh why bother — they’ll never get it, but fill in a word or two].

  28. avatar
    Northland10 August 7, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Phil Cave: they didn’t care about the collateral consequences of the actions, they cared only about the political statement. That is selfish, self serving, dishonorable, and shows a lack of [oh why bother — they’ll never get it, but fill in a word or two].

    Hear, hear!!