The petitioner who had been a Commanding General in charge of the Fourteen Army Group that belonged to the Japanese Army stationed in the Philippine Island. He was forced to surrender to the US Army making him a prisoner of war (Kirk, (1974). On the other end the respondent was the commanding General from the US Forces whose base was the Philippine Island. He had appointed a military commission that was in charge of the case. The charge being that the petitioner had on an earlier date been unable to control the operations that had been laid out for his troops. The action allowed them to commit some specified crimes against the civilians and the prisoners of the war.
The issues included that the military that tried and convicted the petitioner had not been created in a lawful way. The petitioner further claimed that since hostilities had been ceased between the two countries the military commission was not allowed to try the petitioner for any violations of the war laws. They further claimed that the military commission had no jurisdiction that allowed it to try and convict the petitioner since the orders that governed the procedure that the commission permitted was in violation of the 38th and the 25th Articles of war and those of the Geneva Convention (Kirk, (1974). This would therefore, lead to an unfair trial. They claimed further that the charges that were against the petitioner had failed to charge him with a violation of the rules of war. Moreover, they claimed that the commission had no authority in the premises since they had not given an advance notice of the trial to a neutral power as required by the law.
The decision of the court was that the commission appointed to try the petitioner was created on lawful grounds. In that the orders were in conformity with the Act of congress, the commission was appointed by an Army Commander and that the Principles governing the exercise were considered. The court further claimed that even though the hostilities had ceased the trial was lawful. This is because peace treaty had not yet been signed and that the trial had been authorized by the political branch, international law, the military command and the terms of surrender by the government of the Japanese (Kirk, (1974). The court claimed that the charges laid upon the petitioner were because of the violation of the rule of war since he did not take any measures that were deemed appropriate that would enable him to control his troop. The court therefore on applying the habeas corpus is no longer concerned with either the innocence or the guilt of the petitioner.
My thoughts on the decision of the court to sentence the petitioner to death by hanging are that they were right in doing so. This is because they had sat down and listened to two hundred and eighty six witnesses and therefore this reduced the chance for bias in their ruling. The decision of the court to deny the petition for habeas corpus on the grounds that its jurisdictions were only limited to an inquiry and that its commission was validly constituted were a great bargain. Therefore, i side with the court’s decision to sentence the petitioner to death through hanging because he had committed a grief mistake of not guiding and controlling those under him to do what is expected of them.
Kirk, A. S. (1974). In Re Yamashita.