AFCCA doesn’t normally publish its sentence appropriateness opinions. But it did so today in United States v. Anderson, __ M.J. ___, No. ACM 37517 (A.F.Ct. Crim. App. Apr. 7, 2009) (per curiam). Presumably AFCCA published the opinion because it sides with an unpublished NMCCA decision to provide an answer to this question: “In assessing whether or not [court-martial sentences in two closely related cases] are highly disparate, . . . should [the CCA] compare the appellant’s adjudged and approved sentence” with the closely related case’s adjudged sentence or approved sentence? Id., slip op. at 4-5. Adjudged sentence, rules AFCCA, id., slip op. at 5, thus indicating that a CCA may ignore sentence disparity created by a convening authority’s reduction of the closely related case’s sentence.
[DISCLAIMER: I second-seated the oral argument for the defense.]