The U.S. Marine who has spent the last 214 days in a Mexican jail is now a free man. A judge ordered Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi to be released from his captivity late Friday, and the soldier has arrived back on American soil, much to the relief of his mother, Jill Tahmooressi.
Despite all the legal arguments about the evidence, and the dozens of rallies, and hundreds of thousands of signatures on a White House petition, in the end, it all came down to the fact that Tahmooressi suffers from PTSD from his two tours of duty in Afghanistan. The plea by his attorney Fernando Benitez for a humanitarian release was the one that finally won out. Judge Victor Octavio Luna Escobedo of the Sixth Federal District Court in Tijuana dismissed the case against Sgt. Tahmooressi on humanitarian grounds, according to the Los Angeles Times, and ordered that he be granted “absolute freedom.”
According to CNN, the court found “no cause to prosecute” Tahmooressi on any of the weapons charges. Had he been prosecuted, he would have faced seven to 21 years in a Mexican prison.
The judge acknowledged that Mexican facilities were ill-equipped to handle PTSD, after a court-appointed psychiatrist beseeched the judge to allow Tahmooressi to return to the United States for treatment.
Tahmooressi was driven to the U.S.-Mexico border after his release, according to U-T San Diego, where he walked back into his homeland, and was picked up in a vehicle to meet his family at the airport. At last he was going home to Florida.
His family was overjoyed at his release, and issued a statement, reports FOX News.
It is with an overwhelming and humbling feeling of relief that we confirm that Andrew was released today after spending 214 days in a Mexican jail. He is back on American soil and will shortly resume treatment for both his pre-existing combat related PTSD and the residual effects of months of incarceration – which has taken a toll on him far worse than his two tours in Afghanistan.”
— Jeff Rainforth (@iResistAll) November 1, 2014
Jill Tahmooressi has worked tirelessly to free her son, ever since he first took that wrong turn into Mexico. She made endless media appearances, and testified to Congress. Talk show hosts Greta van Susteren, Dr. Gina Loudon, and Montel Williams each took a special interest in working toward freeing Sgt. Tahmooressi, organizing rallies and inspiring their followers to call, write, and sign petitions. Like Jill Tahmooressi, they worked diligently to ensure that the Marine was not forgotten.
Jill found that a number of Congressmen were willing to work to secure his freedom, but as the Inquisitr reported previously, the person in the best position to do something about it never seemed to find the time to try.
PolitiChick Maureen Mullins echoed the frustration of many Americans, that amid his grueling golf schedule, President Obama found “no time to even mention his Marine’s name nor make reference to his situation.” She also reminded the American public of a law that obligates the President to act on behalf of people in situations like Sgt. Tahmooressi, a law that he apparently was unaware of, in 22 U.S. Code 1732.
Whenever it is made known to the President that any citizen of the United States has been unjustly deprived of his liberty by or under the authority of any foreign government, it shall be the duty of the President forthwith to demand of that government the reasons of such imprisonment; and if it appears to be wrongful and in violation of the rights of American citizenship, the President shall forthwith demand the release of such citizen, and if the release so demanded is unreasonably delayed or refused, the President shall use such means, not amounting to acts of war and not otherwise prohibited by law, as he may think necessary and proper to obtain or effectuate the release; and all the facts and proceedings relative thereto shall as soon as practicable be communicated by the President to Congress.”
Fortunately, despite the inaction of the Commander in Chief, Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi is again able to enjoy the freedom that he risked his life to secure for all Americans. Surely, during this upcoming Thanksgiving season, the Tahmooressi family will have plenty to be thankful for. Millions of Americans are thankful that he is free.
[images via Jill Tahmooressi and screenshot from YouTube]