Today, CAAF affirmed in United States v. Roberts, __ M.J. ___, No. 10-0030/AF (C.A.A.F. May 13, 2010).  Judge Erdmann wrote for a unanimous court.

Roberts is a highly fact-specific opinion about the application of Military Rule of Evidence 412 and harmless error.  CAAF ruled:

We granted review in this case to determine whether the military judge erred in excluding evidence of ER’s relationship with another man (FL), evidence that Roberts asserts would have established a motive for ER to fabricate the rape allegation against him.

We agree with the Court of Criminal Appeals that under the circumstances presented in this case, the proffered evidence of ER’s alleged sexual relationship with FL was not admissible under M.R.E. 412.  We also agree with the lower court that the military judge erred in limiting the cross-examination of ER concerning the general relationship between ER and FL and specifically by not allowing any cross-examination of ER as to her cell phone call to FL immediately after the incident.However, we find those errors tob e harmless beyond a reasonable doubt and affirm the lower court.

Id., slip op. at 3-4 (citations omitted).

With the release of Roberts, just 10 cases argued this term remain undecided.

5 Responses to “CAAF rules in Roberts”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Any potential precedent-setters to look out for? Or any hi-viz cases of interest?

  2. DC Steve says:

    It appears that evidence covered by 412 is not AUTOMATICALY admissible to show that the victim had a motive for lying.

    The constitutional exception to MRE 412 perhaps just got a little narrower. (It is still plenty big, however).

  3. Dew_Process says:

    Anon 2255 – 2 off the top of my head, LCDR Diaz’s case, and maybe Blazier if they don’t do a hold-over on that, which I suspect that they might.

  4. Valentine says:

    I would say Luke, with the abortion issue, I saw CAAF’S grant in Luke a few weeks ago, am not sure I saw the abortion issue being granted. If I were still involved with this case I would request reconsideration on the 412 issue in Luke. I helped with briefing it back in 2006 and I believe then and now its a winner.

    As I remember in Luke there are other substantial issues not withstanding the USACIL DEBACLE.

    The judge ruled against Luke at trial on some kind of abortion issue, where the victim had a stealh abortion prior to trial in order to conceal the fact she was having an illicit relationship onbaord ship.

    I dont remember exactly how the 412 issue came about but I remeber CAAF granted the issue in Luke back in 2006. If I can remeber clearly this 412 business was argued in Luke before CAAF in 2006 but never ruled on because the USACIL DEBACLE disturbed the appellate trajectory of the case.

    Luke left my hands a long time ago, I have only been keeping tabs from afar but as some folks probably remember from past discussions on Luke’s case I remain pretty peeved about this case to this day.

  5. Skirt Suits For Women says:

    Kasper Suits…

    […significant and I’m proposing to use it at my own page, thanks !..]…