10th Circuit issues interesting published decision on scope of collateral review of court-martial convictions
Phil “My Liege” Cave calls my attention to this recent published 10th Circuit decision discussing the scope of review when considering collateral challenges to court-martial convictions. Thomas v. United States Disciplinary Barracks, __ F.3d __, No. 09-3291 (10th Cir. Nov. 16, 2010). While offering no solace to Thomas himself, the 10th Circuit’s Thomas opinion seems to offer confined servicemembers a bit more hope than have recent 10th Circuit opinions:
Although our review of court-martial proceedings is narrow, it is not illusory. In Watson, we predicated our holding that full and fair consideration does not require a detailed opinion or certain other indications that a military court diligently reviewed the parties’ arguments. In a case where the briefing is cursory and no indications of full consideration otherwise exist, we may reach a different result. But the thoroughness and adequacy of the briefing in this case, together with the broad deference we grant to the military in collateral review of court-martial convictions, see Watson, 782 F.2d at 144, supports the district court’s determination that Thomas’s claims received full and fair consideration by the military court.
Id., slip op. at 10.