ACCA holds an accused’s statements dissing the Army are admissible aggravation evidence in Article 86 case
ACCA issued a published opinion yesterday, holding that the military judge correctly overruled a defense objection to the admissibility during the government’s case in aggravation of the accused’s statements expressing disdain for the Army. United States v. Scheuerman, __ M.J. ___, No. ARMY 20080304 (A. Ct. Crim App. May 26, 2009). Judge Sullivan wrote for the majority.
ACCA reasoned: “Rule for Court-Martial 1001(b)(4) has a ‘rather broad ambit.’ United States v. Stephens, M.J. , slip op. at 4 (C.A.A.F. 12 March 2009). Appellant’s poor attitude toward military service, which, in part, motivated his multiple AWOL periods, is a circumstance surrounding his offenses.” Id., slip op. at 4. Characterizing the Army as the victim of the accused’s Article 86 offenses, ACCA maintained that “[e]ssentially, appellant repeatedly made derogatory remarks about his victim and now complains those remarks should not be considered in his sentencing.” Id., slip op. at 5.