Here’s a link to CAAF’s opinion in United States v. Douglas, __ M.J. ___, No. 09-0466/AF (C.A.A.F. Feb. 23, 2010), in which CAAF splits 3-2 to hold that the record doesn’t establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused wasn’t prejudiced by unlawful command influence.

Judge Ryan wrote for the majority, joined by Chief Judge Effron and Judge Erdmann.  Judge Baker and Judge Stucky wrote separate dissents.

6 Responses to “CAAF issues UCI opinion”

  1. John O'Connor says:

    I think the dissents have the better of the argument. That UCI is the mortal enemy of military justice does not mean that you stretch and strain to try to find a grievance that the defense apparently did not have at trial. If the dissents are right that the defense more or less acquiesced in the adjudged remedy, and then didn’t complain that it was inadequate, that seems top me either to fatally undermine a UCI claim on appeal, or at least to do so absent facts not adduced here.

  2. durrrr says:

    the most obvious thing about the majority opinion is how poorly written it is?

  3. Anonymous says:

    durrrr, I concurrr. The first 2.5 pages are nearly incomprehensible. I wouldn’t normally comment on an opinion’s readability, but this one is abnormally bad.

  4. durrrr says:

    seemingly nonsensical use of body text vs. footnotes. Don’t think this will be cited much.

  5. Phil Cave says:

    This is a common problem. All too often an accused is sent off to isolation and the word is put out not to support the person. This case might not have been the right vehicle, but . . .
    Maybe rather than focus on what the DC and MJ didn’t do, we should take a look at what the SJA and TC advising and working with this unit failed to do. Maybe the next Article 6 visit can review procedures for educating commanders and leaders about UCI, etc.? Maybe we can make SJA’s and TC’s be (I so hate the word) proactive. Or are they scared to speak up themselves?

  6. Jvax says:

    I dont see anything wrong with this result, the military environment by its very nature is prejudicial because discipline is the goal standard.

    Its been my experience that once the senior officer supports courtmartial proceedings guilt is implied, hence an accused comes in at a disadvantage then the practice of immediate banishment upon the discovery of an alleged offense further prejudices the accused.

    Couple the afore mentioned practices and the actions of this MSGT further compounded the problem ,I am happy THE C.A.A.F reversed here.

    The whole run up to this case smacks on unfairness.