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Q . Do you know why that condition of affairs existed?A . No, sir . The let-
ter that caused us so much trouble with respect to joint trials went out in tha t
same way . We never saw it until long after it had gone out .
Q . Which letter was that?A . It was a letter which advised concernin g
joint trials and made reference to cases properly joined, urged more joint trials ,
and said that joint trials should be had in all cases where accused were jointl y
charged or where charges were properly joined . That letter seemed to hav e
induced a number of errors . We never saw that letter at the time . Gen .
Crowder signed that letter .
Q. About when (lid that letter go out?A . I don't know . That letter
played a part, I think, in the Camp Grant cases .
Q . From the correspondence and from the testimony that has been take n
it appears that Gen. Ansell was very much opposed to General Orders, No .
7, and to its provisions ; that is correct, is it not?A . I know that he neve r
thought very much of the ethics of General Orders, 7 ; as to active oppositio n
I never heard him say much .
Q. Did you ever connect that fact up with the fact that the cases unde r
General Orders, No . 7, never went through your office? The fact that h e
was not friendly to the orderdid that question ever come up for discussio n
at all?A . No, sir.
Q . Now, in matters generally affecting administration of military justice
outside of General Orders, No . 7, did they or did they not come under th e
supervision of your office?A . You mean Gen . Ansell's office ?
Q. Yes ; you were his principal assistant at that time .A . I can hardl y
answer that question . I know many of them did and I know some of the m
did not . For instance, the letter I just spoke of and numerous letters of
advice were sent out from the Judge Advocate General's Office that we ha d
not seen but I suppose most of them are all right. I do not believe this ques-
tion is susceptible of answering.
Q. During the period that Gen . Ansell was absent in Europe and you wer e
senior assistant you gave to General Orders, No . 7, the strict legal interpre-
'_ution? Upon the return of Gen. Ansell from Europe what occurred, respec-
tively?A . I was not here.
Q . Did you leave immediately upon his return?A . Yes, sir.
Q . You are not familiar then with, the changes which he made in th e
application of that order?A. No, sir . I would like to say in connectio n
with my application of General Orders, No . 7, that I realized there were many
sentences being imposed which were excessively heavy, what you may call sen-
tences produced by war hysteria, but I considered the reduction of a sentenc e
an attribute of the pardoning power and as not being a function of our office
in advising upon the legality of the sentence. However heavy those sen-
tences were, they were in all cases that we let them stand within the lega l
authority . I appreciated that all sentences ought to be coordinated, tha t
there should be a determination of what was the adequate punishment fo r
an offense, and that the sentences that had been imposed for that offens e
should be cut down so as to bring them within reasonable limits of wha t
we determined was an adequate punishment for that offense . With that en d
in view I was establishing, with Gen . Crowder's concurrence, what is know n
as the disciplinary section of the disciplinary division . I believe that ha s
now grown to considerable proportions. My idea being that that section shoul d
take of its own initiative an examination of eases and recommend to th e
Secretary of War that such sentences as were excessive should be relicte d
down to the proper measure of punishment, I realized when I was doin g
this, instead of making recommendations as the cases came along, that men
in some cases would be resting under heavier sentences than should be im-
posed upon them for some time but the sentences had already been imposed ,
the ignominy of the heavy sentence was already upon the man and I di d
not consider it any great injustice to let the sentence stand for a sufficien t
time to allow such an accumulation of cases, such a study as would enabl e
the proper measure of punishment to be arrived at, especially in view of
the fact that all these men truly deserved a year's punishment ; where a man
had been given a sentence of say, 13 or 20 years, there is no reason to believ e
after his case is reviewed and found to be sustained that his sentence shoul d
be reduced below a year . Of course where I found a case which demanded
immediate action, I did take action by recommending reduction of a sen-
tence through the mitigating power of the President but not through th e
reviewing authn Ht, '