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Neo military lawyer Kaffee defends Marines accused of murder; they contend they were acting under orders.

The facts: Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - Gitmo as it is known - based marines Lance Corporal Harold Dawson and Private Louden Downey assaulted Private William Santiago in the middle of the night, which included stuffing a rag into his mouth, Santiago who died shortly thereafter of respiratory complications. Special Judge Advocate Counsel Lieutenant Joanne Galloway believes Dawson and Downey were just following orders, as part of the marine's unofficial "code red" where there is self policing within the ranks, and that there was no intent of murder. Galloway, a naive lawyer who seeks fairness and justice at all cost, wants to be assigned the case but she has no trial experience. Instead, the military assigns Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee to be Dawson and Downey's counsel. Kaffee is a lightweight lawyer who also has no trial experience and has a history of taking, as Galloway refers, the path of least resistance by plea bargaining regardless of his clients' guilt/innocence and their wants. Galloway becomes co-counsel in the case. The two, with their assistant Lieutenant Sam Weinberg, have to decide what to do, not an easy task considering their differing views on law and what is best for all including themselves. They do believe Dawson and Downey's story that they were following unofficial/official code red orders, but are uncertain if their case is winnable, especially against the marine machine run by Gitmo's Colonel Nathan Jessep.


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