The thirteen US Marines that were arrested in July while standing in formation at Camp Pendleton are legally off the hook- but they aren’t staying in the Marines.
Initially pulled out of formation on July 25 on charges ranging from human trafficking to drug offenses, the Marines have opted to leave the Corps immediately, with no criminal record, rather than continue with the legal process.
According to the OC Register, the Marines have “submitted and approved pre-trial agreements requesting separation in lieu of courts-martial.”
It is unknown if the six Marines who plead guilty to charges during a court-martial will be given the same deal.
The dramatic arrest of the Marines was found to be unlawful according to a military judge, who determined the spectacle to be a violation of the Marines’ rights.
“The government withdrew and dismissed the charges and offered my client the opportunity to separate from the Marine Corps without any criminal charges,” said military lawyer Capt. Charles Whitman.
“The court’s ruling is a good thing for the Marine Corps,” the officer added. “This is a deterrent and is working the way it should. It’s a win for everyone. It should give the public confidence that the military justice system is working.”
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