In its second decision in two days, the C.A.A.F. issued a decision today in U.S. v. Perez __ M.J. __ (C.A.A.F. 2006). Perez joins the long line of cases, broken only by U.S. v. Garcia, 59 M.J. 447 (C.A.A.F. 2004), where appellants have challenged the effectiveness of trial defense counsel on appeal and lost.
Perhaps the most interesting issue in the case was one that was not before the Court. First Sergeant Perez’s daughter took the stand and, when she could not remember anything about her father’s sexual abuse, the military judge allowed trial counsel to introduce her statements to CID detailing her sexual abuse at the hands of her father. Unless the military judge found that the victim’s silence was due to First Sergeant Perez, there would appear to be a Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004), issue in this case. As if to acknowledge the inadmissiblity of the statements, the Court stated “The admissibility of these matters is not at issue under the grant of review in the present case.” Slip op. at 5. Does anyone from DAD know if this issue was raised in the supp? If not, First Sergeant Perez may have another IAC claim. But, in light of Perez, it would probably not succeed.