Thursday, June 18, 2009

PTSD on Trial:Georgia Supreme Court denies new trial for Iraq vet

State high court denies new trial for Iraq vet

By Bill Rankin
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 07/08/08
The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday upheld the murder conviction against Alberto Martinez, a former soldier who killed a fellow infantryman shortly after returning from heavy combat in Iraq.

The court rejected claims that Martinez deserved a new trial because his lawyers failed to tell jurors he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when he killed Spc. Richard Davis, 24.

Justice Harris Hines, writing for a unanimous court, said PTSD might explain why Martinez would snap and do something in reaction to some stimulation. But the disorder "could not explain Martinez's subsequent actions of repeatedly stabbing Davis and engaging in a conspiracy to cover up the murder," Hines said.

The grisly Muscogee County murder loosely inspired the movie, "In the Valley of Elah." Davis died on July 12, 2003, shortly after the soldiers returned to Fort Benning from a six-month tour in Iraq and Kuwait.
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