1LT CLINT LORANCE

 

Basic info: Rank

Accused of:

Imprisoned since:

Family status:

Etc.

SUMMARY

In June 2012, 1LT Clint Lorance deployed to Zhari, Afghanistan, with elements of the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division in support of the on-going combat operations associated with the "Global War On Terror."

 

When a platoon leader was medically evacuated from the battlefield due to shrapnel wounds to his eyes, face, and abdomen from the blast of an improvised explosive device (IED), 1Lt Lorance was identified to replace him.

 

On July 2, 2012, three days after taking charge of the platoon, 1LT Lorance was leading his paratroopers on a combat patrol through a minefield near where previous attacks on the platoon resulted in four casualties, including the one which wounded the previous platoon leader.

While patrolling up and down 6 – 8-foot grape berms (mud mounds Afghan farmers use to grow grapes), one of 1LT Lorance’s soldiers identified three military-age Afghan men speeding toward their patrol on a motorcycle.

Correctly perceiving the riders on the motorcycle as an immediate threat to the exposed platoon, the soldier fired his rifle, but missed. 

Within seconds of the initial shots, 1LT Lorance, standing below a grape berm, radioed a “gun truck” (a lightly armored vehicle mounted with a crew-served machine gun), he had placed in an over-watch position to protect the patrol, to fire on the motorcycle.

Two of the Afghan riders were killed. One escaped.

1LT Lorance never fired a shot.

Just moments and meters away, a second tense and quickly evolving engagement occurred in which 1LT Lorance’s platoon shot and killed two other Afghans and wounded a third in the arm.

While patrolling back to their outpost, a US soldier believed one of the deceased motorcycle riders was a village elder. At that point, the case became a “civilian casualty” or “CIVCAS” case.

As a result, the Army prosecuted 1LT Lorance for double murder, attempted murder, and several lesser offenses... despite the fact that:

1. The first soldier who fired on the motorcycle riders testified his shots were consistent with the ROEs;

2. 1Lt Lorance relied upon the first soldier's correct threat assessment to order the fatal rounds to be fired from the "gun truck" within seconds after the first soldier missed; and

3. 1LT Lorance never fired his own rifle;

Leading up to 1LT Lorance's Court Martial, nine Paratroopers in the platoon were also initially accused of murder. But, they were eventually given immunity and ordered to cooperate in the case against 1LT Lorance.

Prosecutors withheld evidence which would have justified 1LT Lorances orders, specifically a US Army report that 1LT Lorance's platoon was being targeted for an "attack or ambush," and those 1LT Lorance's platoon killed were enemy combatant, not "civilians." 

As a result, 1LT Lorance was convicted, sentenced to 20 years (later reduce to 19 years) in prison in the United States Disciplinary Barracks (USDB) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and dismissed from the Army.

In June 2012, 1LT Clint Lorance deployed to Zhari, Afghanistan, with elements of the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division in support of the on-going combat operations associated with the "Global War On Terror." 

where he would replace a fallen lieutenant who had been injured in a military hot zone. Immediately upon receiving word of his new and dangerous assignment, Lorance began to study maps of the remote area in Kandahar Province. Long deserted by civilians, it had become a hot bed of Taliban activity.

In addition to the officer whom Lorance had replaced, there were other injuries and casualties in the time leading up to the assignment. During his briefing with an intelligence officer, Lorance was warned that insurgents would spy on American forces and gather intel for future attacks while seated on motorcycles. Deeply concerned for the safety of his unit, he told them that it was his duty to make sure each and every man would return home to their loved ones.

One month later, a U.S. helicopter surveying the area warned Lorance of Taliban activity. A group of motorcyclists were near a road used only by insurgents. After confirming a clear description of the terrorists, Lorance waited for further direction from the aerial surveillance. When a U.S. intelligence soldier intercepted radio transmissions from the Taliban detailing the American platoon’s location, one of the soldiers asked Lorance for permission to fire. Remembering his promise to have each and every man in his unit home in one piece, the first lieutenant granted permission to fire.


Summary of Case

When more insurgents infiltrated the U.S. Army and Afghan army formation, the threat was quickly and courageously reduced.

Despite the bravery that is reflected by the numerous awards granted to him throughout his military service, including a Platoon Leadership award, Lorance was unjustly charged with murder for giving the order that saved countless lives that day.

 

Update:

On December 19, 2017, the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) decided not to hear our request for an appeal in Clint’s case. Consequently, there are two courses of action available to pursue simultaneously: a) prepare the federal civilian lawsuit under habeas corpus; and b) continue to press efforts for Presidential and/or Secretarial action.

February 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Events

* Phone calls and letters w/Clint Lorance
* Development of Amicus Brief and Signatories
* Case Law Review of CAAF Cases
* Coordination w/Amicus Attorney
* Coordination with Defense Appellate Division for Filing
* Revise and Edit Slides for Supplement Appendix w/ Bill Carney
* Assemble Appendix Materials
* Revise draft Supplement to Petition for Grant of Review

September 2017

Contact Clint

Clint's address in Leavenworth penitentiary is: 

Frequently asked questions

WHY SHOULD THE PRESIDENT ISSUE A PARDON OR THE FEDERAL CIVILIAN COURT REVERSE THE CONVICTIONS AND SENTENCE {HABEAS CORPUS)FOR 1LT CLINT LORANCE?


Several of our Nation's Warriors have been convicted and imprisoned for crimes in combat where the military appellate process has been inadequate to resolve fully and fairly their Constitutional claims. Were it not for habeas review or action by the President, their eventual release is left to the will of the very authority that may have unlawfully confined them in the first place. In fact, even if a military prisoner seeks direct access to the President of the United States for a commutation, clemency, or a pardon pursuant to Article II of the Constitution, the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney will not process the request for action; rather, in a disturbingly circular fashion, the Office of the Pardon Attorney will return the case to the same branch of the military that imprisoned the applicant. demonstrates the need for federal civilian courts to grant relief or the President to act. A. 2  1 E-mail dated June 29, 2018, from William Taylor II, Executive Officer, Office of the Pardon Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice; “This is in response to your follow up email from earlier today inquiring further about the Department’s policy with regard to military commutation requests. Please take a moment to review our longstanding policy on the subject at https://www.justice.gov/pardon/policies#s4. The response you received earlier today was accurate because we do not handle or accept petitions on behalf of individuals wishing to seek commutation of sentence for a military conviction. That is outside of the scope of our mission and that is best response I can provide.” 2 A general court-martial is the highest or most serious level court-martial in the military justice system. See Article 16, UCMJ; 10 U.S.C. § 816. Overview of Unlawful Trial & Appeal United States v. Lorance September 2, 2018 Page 2




How Did Clint Lorance Become an Officer in the Army?


Clint Lorance was an enlisted soldier in the US Army whose exemplary performance and leadership ability was consistantly recognizaed by his senior officers for over 10 years. As such, the US Army sent him to college as part of the “Green to Gold” program and commissioned him an officer,




Who is 1Lt Clint Lorance's Attorney


John N. Maher, JD, MBA, LLM, MSS. Mr Maher is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army JAG Corps Reserve whose civilian law practice involves court-martial defense, appellate defense, habeas corpus, security clearances, survivor benefit plans, defending federal employees, and government contracts. Mr. Maher is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom – US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A). He also served in Afghanistan as a Program Manager at the Justice Center in Parwan, Afghanistan (JCIP), where biometrics (fingerprint and DNA) evidence was regularly used to prosecute members of terror networks who left their fingerprints and skin on roadside bombs. He was also Command Judge Advocate for Task Force Able Sentry in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia during a United Nations peacekeeping mission to prevent the spread of ethnic cleansing, was a prosecutor with the First Infantry Division in Germany, appellate defense counsel before the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals in Virginia, served with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in Washington, D.C., and is a 2014 graduate of the US Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. A former civilian Justice Department attorney, litigation associate for Mayer Brown, LLP, and partner with Duane Morris, LLP, Mr. Maher was the Senior Executive Service (SES) General Counsel for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in Washington D.C. Mr Maher is also a small business owner in Chicago, serves as an adjunct faculty member in an MBA program, and has published various law review and practitioner’s articles.




WHAT HAPPENED?


In June 2012, 1LT Clint Lorance deployed to Zhari, Afghanistan, with elements of the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division in support of the on-going combat operations associated with the "Global War On Terror." When a platoon leader because was medically evacuated off the battlefield due to sharpnel wounds to his eyes, face, and abdomen from an improvised explosive device (IED) blast, 1Lt Lorance was identified to replace him. On July 2, 2012, three days after joining the platoon, 1LT Lorance was leading his paratroopers on a combat patrol through a minefield near where previous attacks on the platoon resulted in four casualties, including the one which wounded the previous platoon leader. While patrolling up and down 6 – 8-foot grape berms (mud mounds Afghani farmers use to grow grapes), one of Lorance’s soldiers identified three military-age Afghan men speeding toward the patrol on one motorcycle. Correctly perceiving the riders on the motorcycle as an immediate threat to the exposed platoon, the soldier fired his rifle but missed. Within seconds of the initial shots, 1LT Lorance, standing below a grape berm, radioed a “gun truck” (a lightly armored vehicle mounted with a crew-served machine gun), which he had placed in an overwatch position to protect the patrol, to fire on the motorcycle. Two riders were killed. One escaped. 1LT Lorance never fired a shot. Just moments and meters away, a second tense and quickly evolving engagement occurred in which 1LT Lorance’s platoon shot and killed two other local nationals and wounded a third in the arm. While patrolling back to their outpost, a soldier believed one of the deceased motorcycle riders was a village elder. At that point, the case became a “civilian casualty” or “CIVCAS” case. As a result, the Army prosecuted 1LT Lorance for double murder, attempted murder, and several lesser offenses... despite the fact that: 1. The first soldier who fired on the motorcycle riders testified his shots were consistent with the ROEs; 2. 1Lt Lorance relied upon the first soldier's correct threat assessment to order the fatal rounds to be fired from the "gun truck" within seconds after the first soldier missed; and 3. 1LT Lorance never fired his own rifle; Leading up to 1LT Lorance's Court Martial, nine Paratroopers in the platoon were also initially accused of murder. But, they were eventually given immunity and ordered to cooperate in the case against 1LT Lorance. Prosecutors withheld evidence which would have justified 1LT Lorances orders, specifically a US Army report that 1LT Lorance's platoon was being targeted for an "attack or ambush," and those 1LT Lorance's platoon killed were enemy combatant, not "civilians." As a result, 1LT Lorance was convicted, sentenced to 20 years (later reduce to 19 years) in prison in the United States Disciplinary Barracks (USDB) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and dismissed from the Army.




WAS ALL THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED TO THE JURY?


NO 1LT Lorances case was not a trial of all the facts available to the prosecution and bearing on the truth of whether 1Lt Lorance is guilty of double murder, attempted murder, and justly imprisoned for his actions in a combat zone where the enemy blends in with the local-national population. 1. 1LT LORANCE ORDERED THE ENGAGEMENT ON OUR ENEMY, NOT "CIVILIANS" 1LT believed he ordered his "gun truck" to engage our enemy. The prosecution said he killed "civilians." After his court-martial, 1LT Lorance retained a new team of attorneys and investigators who learned that prosecutors did not disclose evicence which would have cleared 1LT Lorance of any wrong-doing - "biometric data" (fingerprint and DNA evidence). This evidence shows conclusively that 1LT Lorances platoon did not kill "civilians," as the prosecution claimed, but rather, they killed enemy bomb-makers who had previously left their fingerprints and skin cells on improvised explosive device (IED) components which killed and maimed US Soldiers on the Afghan battlefield.
2. 1LT LORANCE'S OREDERS SAVED US LIVES Prosecutors withheld from 1LT Lorance’s attorneys a “significant activity report” or “SIGACT” which the UA Army created about 1LT Lorance's platoon's engagement with the motorcycle riders and others, just 30 days after the incident. The report stated that 1LT Lorance’s platoon was being scouted for an impending “ambush or attack,” and that there was at least one “insurgent killed-in-action confirmed." In other words, 1LT Lorance's split-second decision and orders prevented an attack on his platoon and saved his Soldier's lives. 3. WITNESSES NOT HELD ACCOUNTABLE AND ORDERED TO TESTIFY The jury never knew that witnesses against Lorance were themselves initially accused of murder, given immunity from prosecution (they would not be held responsible) ... and were ordered to cooperate with prosecutors. 4. PREVIOUS LEADER WOULD NEVER ALLOW MOTORCYCLES NEAR PLATOON The jury never saw a critical portion of a sworn written statement made by the previous Platoon Leader, who 1LT Lorance replaced after he medically evacuated due to peppering shrapnel wounds to the face, eyes, and abdomen in a previous IED attack. Before the statement was disclosed to 1LT Lorance’s trial defense attorneys, someone had lined out the portion of his statement in which the previous Platoon Leader wrote he would never allow motorcycles to get near his platoon for fear of an explosion – the very reason 1LT Lorance’s soldier fired on the threat, and the very reason 1LT Lorance gave the order to fire to his overwatch "gun truck."




DID THE PROSECUTORS HAVE ACCESS TO THE BIOMETRIC DATA?


The prosecution could have readily located the fingerprint and DNA evidence as it existed at the time by entering the names of the local nationals contained in the investigatory reports into government databases. Such databases were used dozens of times an hour throughout Afghanistan to plan missions, target the enemy, authorize access to Coalition installations, and as 1part of “information operations” and “mapping the population” in order to reliably discern truly innocent civilians from the enemy during counter-insurgency or “COIN” operations. See CENTER FOR ARMY LESSONS LEARNED, COMMANDER’S GUIDE TO BIOMETRICS IN AFGHANISTAN – OBSERVATIONS, INSIGHTS, AND LESSONS (No. 11-25, 2011) at 37.




DOES THE ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE MATTER?


The report stood to assist the defense in preparing for trial in at least two meaningful ways. First, to challenge the prosecution’s claim that the second engagement that resulted in two deaths and one wounded were unrelated to the motorcycle engagement. An Army report that the platoon was being scouted for an impending attack or ambush rebuts that claim and demonstrates that the platoon was engaging the enemy. Second, to rebut the prosecution’s allegations that the three riders were civilians. What is more, the jury never knew that witnesses against Lorance were themselves initially accused of murder, given immunity, and ordered to cooperate with prosecutors. Nor did the jury see the critical portion of a sworn written statement made by Lorance’s predecessor, who had suffered peppering shrapnel wounds to the face, eyes, and abdomen in a previous IED attack and was medically evacuated. Before the statement was disclosed to Lorance’s trial defense attorneys, someone had lined out the portion of his statement in which he wrote that he would never allow motorcycles to get near his platoon for fear of an explosion – the very reason Lorance’s soldier fired on the threat, and the very reason Lorance gave the order to fire to his overwatch gun truck.





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