Saturday, February 21, 2009

'After Guilty Plea Offer, G.I. Cleared of Iraq Deaths '

It has been three months since Alberto Martinez was acquitted of his responsibility for the double murder of my husband Capt. Phillip Esposito and his comrade 1st Lt. Lou Allen. Today the New York Times ran a front page story describing how Martinez had offered a plea deal to the government acknowledging his guilt and accepting life imprisonment in exchange for his being spared the death penalty. The article details how Martinez’s offer was unilaterally rejected by Lt. Gen. John R. Vines who had made his decision without so much as informing the families affected by Martinez’s actions.

This news is shocking and offensive. I hold that Lt. Gen. Vines had an ethical responsibility to inform us that Martinez had admitted his guilt and offered a plea. Nevertheless, he withheld this crucial information from us and denied us any input into his decision. Now we have to live with the fallout of his actions while he does nothing but enjoy his retirement.

This is yet another injustice and proof that my husband and my family were betrayed by the leadership of the Army.

Update: Here is additional coverage of this story by Robert Gavin of the Times Union.


Nicholas Provenzo said...

So in addition to two exceptional officers being murdered in cold blood and the fact that their murderer has been acquitted, we are now told that the murderer was willing to formally admit his guilt and accept life imprisonment . . . and that this offer was rejected by the Army without so much as informing the widows of these officers. This is what Siobhan, Barbara and their children have to live with?

Somehow, justice has to be done here. Somehow, there simply has to be a reckoning. I am not speaking of vigilantism, but a process where every idiotic, dishonest, and contemptible act associated with this crime and the failed attempt at legal justice is given the light of day. Somebody simply has to pay for what was done here, even if it is only in the form of public humiliation.

Toward that end, this New York Times article was a good start. There can be no question in the eyes of the public now: Alberto Martinez is guilty of the crime of double homicide, he is a free man and the actions of judges, juries and generals are behind it. This end is the shame of the nation and I feel nothing but contempt for those responsible for it.

My continued best to those affected by this tragedy,

Nicholas Provenzo

Paula said...

To have this on the front page of the New York Times makes it seem that karma can work out after all. This is beyond embarrassing for the Army, as it should be. The entire "trial" was totally shameful.

I only wish the Times had gone a little farther and found Martinez for a quote, so you both could feel at least a little safer knowing where he really is.

paratrooper said...

I am glad that everyone finally knows the truth about Martinez. Not a day goes by that I don't think about this guy and all the harm he has caused your families. His case is one of the main reasons that I am getting out of the Army. The night the verdict was read. I sat in the courtroom and was in shock. As I walked by you in the hall I couldn't even look you in the eyes. I have never been so ashamed of anything in my entire life. I can tell you for a fact that the prosecution team was devastated and some of us will never be able to put this behind us.