A new published ACCA decision in the case of United States v. Captain Sonya M. Watson is posted here.  Unfortunately I can’t open the file given my current limited computer capabilities.  Perhaps one of my CAAFlog colleagues can post about the case so I can find out what ACCA ruled.

8 Responses to “New published ACCA decision”

  1. Michael Lowrey says:

    Another case of a court martial conviction, with a sentence of a fine and dismissal but an honorable discharge was issued, this time by HRC before CCA review was complete.

    Key issue: “In the present case, we address the issue of whether an administrative discharge of an officer after convening authority action on sentence is void or voidable.”

    Conclusion: “Headquarters, HRC, St. Louis lacked authority to administratively issue appellant an honorable discharge. Thus, appellant’s administrative discharge was
    voidable, and in this case properly voided. Because the discharge was properly voided, it does not remit or otherwise impact appellant’s approved sentence to a
    dismissal.”

  2. Anon says:

    What is wrong with HRC? This is clearly a case of institutional incompetence. First Estrada, then McPherson, now this! Doesn’t inspire confidence that the system works…

  3. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    I’m just repeating myself, but I will say it again–

    The statutes and regulations regarding discharge from the armed forces are properly read to impose a duty on the gov’t to promptly discharge people when their terms of service end. The requirements for final accounting of pay and the “clearing process” is to ensure the gov’t does not tread all over a discharged servicemembers’ rights.

    The fact that this important requirements and duties are now stood on their head to become jurisdictional leashes around the necks of former servicemembers is completely absurd.

    The gov’t should be held to the highest standards of conduct, and ought to bear the consequences of its own failure to adhere to those standards. Instead, the courts are bending over backwards to relieve the gov’t of the consequences of its own incompetence. The natural result of rewarding incompetent behavior is entirely predictable–more incompetent behavior.

  4. Anon says:

    HRC (reserves) doesn’t talk to HRC (active) nearly enough, so you get this situation, usually with reserve Soldiers.

  5. Anonymous says:

    most appellate counsel will tell you that ad discharges prior to execution of BCD/DD are common occurrence – just tactically not brought to HRC’s attention through the appellate process.

  6. Phil Cave says:

    Agreed. In fact when I was Deputy at NAD many years ago, our usual practice was an immediate withdrawal from appellate review.
    This issue is not uncommon in the other services.

  7. Anonymous says:

    A curious aside was CAAF’s writ of prohibition against the NM’s in Steele which prevented the NM from voiding the “erroneous” discharge. Should counsel have filed a similar writ if they are going to raise this assignnment of error?

  8. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    Anon 953am–

    Seems like the smartest move.