It looks like this is a bad week to be on the road. Here’s a link to CAAF’s opinion in Yammine, which it issued today. My computer has finally agreed to open the opinion. Judge Ryan wrote for the court, joined by Chief Judge Effron and Judges Erdmann and Stucky. Judge Baker wrote a separate opinion concurring in the result.
Here’s the bottom line up front from Judge Ryan’s opinion:
This case presents the questions whether evidence of a list of computer filenames suggestive of homosexual acts involving preteen and teenage boys was admissible under Military Rule of Evidence (M.R.E.) 414 (as evidence that Appellant had a propensity to commit sodomy with a child over the age of twelve but under the age of sixteen) or, alternatively, whether such evidence was admissible under M.R.E. 404(b) (to show motive, plan, or intent). We answer both questions in the negative. The computer filenames were treated as synonymous with possession or attempted possession of child pornography, which, under the facts of this case, we conclude is not a “qualifying” offense under M.R.E. 414. Nor, under the facts of this case, were the filenames admissible under M.R.E. 404(b) — the prejudicial effect of the evidence substantially outweighs whatever marginal relevance and probative value these computer filenames have to the charged offenses.
After reading the fact section of the opinion, I understand why my computer was reluctant to open the file. I suspect some of the words in this opinion have never before appeared in the Military Justice Reporter. :-)