ABOUT THE CASE
In 2009, John Hatley, a highly decorated 20-year combat veteran was convicted of 4 counts of murder for the supposed deaths of four Iraqi males. John was sentenced to life. His sentence was subsequently reduced to 40 years and then, to 25 years. John served ten of those years the United States Disciplinary Barracks (USDB) on Fort Leavenworth, KS. Due to the extenuating circumstances of his trial, his honorable service, and impeccable record before and since the conviction, he is seeking a presidential pardon.
In August 2017, John became eligible for parole. Both the Military Correctional Complex at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas where John was confined and the US Army Clemency and Parole Board in Arlington, Virginia determined to parole John. However, in September 2017, the Undersecretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs disapproved both recommendations largely on the premise that 10 years’ confinement, with an exemplary record as a model inmate, was not sufficient punishment given the severity of the murder convictions of local-national Iraqis in a combat zone during combat operations. Ironically, the two other individuals who were convicted of the same crimes in the same case were paroled in 2015. In 2018, the same board that had granted parole in 2017, denied it on the basis that John had not taken responsibility for his actions (i.e., he hadn’t confessed to a crime he did not commit). This was an objection they did not express in 2017. In essence, they denied his right to maintain his innocence. This action can reasonably be viewed as an attempt to please their boss, which violates their obligation to give each case a full and fair evaluation.
On October 16, 2020, John was finally paroled and released from Fort Leavenworth.
He is currently seeking relief in the form of disapproval of findings and sentence, pardon, or commutation of sentence through Executive Action from the President of the United States.
WHO IS JOHN HATLEY?
John is a 50-year-old Texas native who served almost 20 years in the Army with an excellent and longstanding combat and military record as a Paratrooper, Ranger, and Infantryman. John joined the military on 26 October 1989 and attended basic training and AIT at Ft. Benning, Georgia. While attending basic training, he was selected for the IET Fast Track Program acknowledging his leadership potential. He was assigned to Ft. Campbell, KY and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm where he progressed through the ranks to Sergeant and attended the Primary Leadership Development Course. He attended the Air Assault Course and Jungle Operations Training in Panama.
In September of 1993, he reenlisted and was stationed in the Republic of Korea. He reclassified to mechanized infantry and was selected to attend the Bradley Fighting Vehicle Leaders Course. He served as a Dismount Squad Leader and a Section Leader.
In January of 1995, he returned to Ft. Hood, TX and he graduated the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course where he was selected as the Honor Graduate. He attended Delta Force Selection but was unable to complete the course due to injury. He also successfully completed the Bradley Master Gunner School.
In 1999, he deployed to Bosnia in support of Operation Joint Forge. He was inducted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club in the fall of 1999. He was selected by the Brigade Command Sergeant Major to serve as the Brigade Master Gunner while awaiting attendance to the Advanced Noncommissioned Officers Course. He distinguished himself during attendance to ANCOC in May 2000 and was selected for the Commandant’s List and identified as the recipient of the ANCOC Henry Caro Leadership Award.
John was then stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany as Platoon Sergeant. He successfully completed U.S. Army Ranger and Airborne School. He was selected to serve as the Division Master Gunner and then was assigned as the Division’s G-3 Training Sergeant’s Major where he deployed the Division Tactical Operations Center to Iraq for Operation Iraq Freedom II. He was promoted to First Sergeant in 2004.
John deployed the company for a second tour in 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08 in Baghdad, Iraq. After deployment, he served approximately 12 months as the US Army Garrison Housing Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge in Schweinfurt, Germany.
John’s career was characterized by honor, sacrifice, and valor. He was awarded two Bronze Stars, an Army Commendation Medal for Valor, and a Ranger Tab, to name a few, attesting to the level of his commitment to his country. His distinguished performance was recognized early in his career and catapulted him through the ranks, while he accepted ever-increasing responsibility and challenges.
John also has a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Upper Iowa University, and he is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration Degree from Adams State University.
CONTACT JOHN HATLEY
Letters for John Hatley can be sent to:
C/O UAP ATTN: Elizabeth Brown
1800 Diagonal Rd. Suite 600
Alexandria, VA 22314