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DUNCAN vs.

KAHANAMOKO FACTS OF THE CASE: Duncan, the petitioner was a civilian ship fitter employed in the Navy Yard at Honolulu. On February 24th, 1944, more than two years and two months after the Pearl Harbor attack, he engaged in a brawl with two armed Marine sentries at the yard. He was arrested by the military authorities. By the time of his arrest, the military had to some extent eased the stringency of military rule. Schools, bars, and motion picture theaters had been reopened. Courts had been authorized to "exercise their normal functions." They were once more summoning jurors and witnesses and conducting criminal trials. There were important exceptions, however. One of these was that only military tribunals were to try "Criminal Prosecutions for violations of military orders. As the record shows, these military orders still covered a wide range of day-today civilian conduct. Duncan was charged with violating one of these orders, paragraph 8.01, Title 8, of General Order No. 2, which prohibited assault on military or naval personnel with intent to resist or hinder them in the discharge of their duty. He was therefore tried by a military tribunal, rather than the Territorial Court, although the general laws of Hawaii made assault a crime. A conviction followed, and Duncan was sentenced to six months' imprisonment. Both White and Duncan challenged the power of the military tribunals to try them by petitions for writs of habeas corpus filed in the District Court for Hawaii on March 14 and April 14, 1944, respectively. Their petitions urged both statutory and Constitutional grounds. The court issued orders to show cause. Returns to these orders contended that Hawaii had become part of an active theater of war constantly threatened by invasion from without; that the writ of habeas corpus had therefore properly been suspended and martial law had validly been established in accordance with the provisions of the Organic Act; that, consequently, the District Court did not have jurisdiction to issue the writ, and that the trials of petitioners by military tribunals pursuant to orders by the Military Governor issued because of military necessity were valid. Each petitioner filed a traverse to the returns, which traverse challenged, among other things, the suspension of habeas corpus, the establishment of martial law, and the validity of the Military Governor's orders, asserting that such action could not be taken except when required by military necessity due to actual or threatened invasion, which, even if it did exist on December 7, 1941, did not exist when the petitioners were tried, and that, whatever the necessity for martial law, there was no justification for trying them in military tribunals, rather than the regular courts of law.

found in each case. that the courts had always been able to function but for the military orders closing them. while. . . It accordingly held the trials void. among other things.ISSUE: Whether or not that the trial in military tribunals over the Duncan case was valid and constitutional. after separate trials. HELD: The Supreme Court. consequently. Hawaii was not yet a state and was being administered under the Hawaiian Organic Act which effectively instituted martial law on the island. and that. rather than regular courts. there was no military necessity for the trial of petitioners by military tribunals. and ordered the release of the petitioners.