Originally Posted by cherokeesam
Yes, dear. We, as an audience, know exactly what happened, and that it's not Hawkeye's fault. In the filmic world, Hawkeye and his lawyers would have one HELL of a hard time convincing a judge and/or jury to swallow such an argument. The DA would demand proof of these phantasmagorical claims of magic and mind control, and would get none. Yes, Loki's a god, yadda yadda, yes, the Cube yadda yadda. None of those powers have been defined or proven or understood in a court of law, or by science, or by laypeople. The DA could easily ask Hawkeye and Selvig why Nick Fury wasn't possessed, nor any of the rest of the SHIELD agents inside the JDEM lab, nor any of the Avengers.
The burden of proof would be on Hawkeye to show that he wasn't in control of his faculties, and the only ball in his legal court is Selvig, who is now madder than a hatter, and whose evidence and testimony would be thrown out as wholly inadmissible.
This is not a feasible scenario. No court tries people when the basic facts of the situation is too classified for the jury to hear. Plus, after everyone knows aliens exist and have incredible capabilities, the ability to judge their ability to do mind control is far out of any civilian's skillset. Hawkeye, even if SHIELD made no intervention whatsoever, would be tried by military court. If he was following orders to the best of his ability, which he was, then he would be fully acquitted. If the prosecutors could prove that it was a war, which it was, he would be acquitted. Unless he showed significant mental instability, he'd be free to go. The only way he'd do jail time is if SHIELD intentionally made sure that he did, which, if his fate is decided after Redford takes over, could possibly happen.
I personally would prefer a self imposed exile due to his guilt and frustration. If he had become a criminal in the depths of his depression and self loathing, that could be interesting as well.