Maybe the Eastern District of Virginia is not so bad after all. Long considered the worst place to be facing charges, it has recently come out strongly for civil rights and procedural fairness. Last week U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga dismissed DWI charges against five Quantico marines.
Judge Trenga held that the Marine Corps tricked the defendants into waiving their right to a court-martial, where penalties for DWI are much lighter. The marines ended up in federal court and exposed to double punishment. Trenga didn’t buy it, and dismissed the charges. The Marine Corps says it’s now changing its policy.
This decision follows Trenga’s decision to set aside the convictions of two top sales people touting stock trading software in a TV infomercial. Trenga said the prosecution failed to prove fraud.
Kudos to Federal Public Defenders Brian Mizer and Michael Nachmanoff who led this 18 month battle.