This will be a very busy week in Military Justice Land, with CAAF’s docket brimming with six oral arguments and the case of United States v. Lakin being tried at Fort Meade.
This week at the Supremes: There aren’t any anticipated military justice developments at the Supremes on my radar screen.
This week at CAAF: CAAF will hear six oral arguments this week. Tomorrow CAAF will hear oral argument in United States v. Sullivan, No. 10-0383/MC, on these two issues:
I. WHETHER THE MILITARY JUDGE ABUSED HIS DISCRETION BY EXCLUDING RELEVANT EVIDENCE THAT SHOWED THE ALLEGED VICTIM HAD A MOTIVE TO FABRICATE HER STORY.
II. WHETHER THE MILITARY JUDGE ABUSED HIS DISCRETION BY EXCLUDING EVIDENCE EXPLAINING WHY APPELLANT TOLD WITNESSES THAT THE ALLEGED VICTIM HAD NOT TAKEN HER MEDICATION, LEAVING THE MEMBERS WITH THE UNREBUTTED IMPRESSION THAT APPELLANT LIED ABOUT HER NEED FOR MEDICATION TO PROTECT HIMSELF AGAINST ALLEGATIONS OF MISCONDUCT.
Next up is United States v. Lofton, No. 10-0565/AF, which presents these issues:
I. WHETHER THE AFCCA ERRED IN HOLDING APPELLANT’S CONVICTION OF SPECIFICATION 2 OF CHARGE IV FOR ENGAGING IN CONDUCT UNBECOMING AN OFFICER TO BE LEGALLY SUFFICIENT.
II. WHETHER THE AFCCA ERRED IN HOLDING IT WAS NOT AN ABUSE OF DISCRETION FOR THE CONVENING AUTHORITY TO DENY A DEFENSE MOTION FOR A POST-TRIAL ARTICLE 39(a) SESSION AFTER IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT FAMILY MEMBERS OF THE VICTIMS WERE SENDING TEXT MESSAGES FROM THE COURTROOM TO VICTIMS WHO WERE SEQUESTERED OUTSIDE THE COURTROOM.
Tuesday’s first argument is in United States v. Soto, No. 10-0397/AR, which raises this issue:
WHETHER THE PRETRIAL AGREEMENT CONTAINED A PROHIBITED AND UNENFORCEABLE PROVISION REQUIRING APPELLANT TO “OFFER TO REQUEST A BAD[-]CONDUCT DISCHARGE DURING THE SENTENCING PHASE” THEREBY VIOLATING RULE FOR COURTS-MARTIAL 705(c)(1)(B) AND PUBLIC POLICY.
Next up is United States v. Edwards, No. 10-0481/AR, which presents this issue:
WHETHER THERE IS A SUBSTANTIAL BASIS IN LAW AND FACT TO QUESTION APPELLANT’S PLEA TO ESCAPE FROM CONFINEMENT GIVEN THAT AT THE TIME OF THE ALLEGED OFFENSE HE WAS NEITHER WITHIN A CONFINEMENT FACILITY NOR UNDER GUARD OR ESCORT AFTER HAVING BEEN PLACED IN A CONFINEMENT FACILITY.
Wednesday is Lewis and Clark Day. Wednesday’s first argument is in United States v. Lewis, No. 10-0484/AR, which presents this issue:
WHETHER APPELLANT’S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS WAS VIOLATED WHEN THE TRIAL COUNSEL ASKED A DEFENSE EXPERT WHETHER HE FOUND EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE, AND ARGUED TO THE MEMBERS THAT THE DEFENSE EXPERT FAILED TO FIND EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE AND FAILED TO FIND EVIDENCE SUGGESTING ANYONE OTHER THAN APPELLANT COMMITTED THE OFFENSES.
The week’s sixth and final CAAF argument is in United States v. Clark, No. 10-0588/AF, which presents these issues:
I. WHETHER IT WAS PLAIN ERROR FOR TRIAL COUNSEL TO ELICIT TESTIMONY THAT APPELLANT DID NOT RESPOND VERBALLY WHEN ARRESTED, AND THEN RELY ON THIS TESTIMONY DURING CLOSING ARGUMENT.
II. WHETHER THE MILITARY JUDGE COMMITTED CONSTITUTIONAL ERROR THAT WAS NOT HARMLESS BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT WHEN HE OVERRULED DEFENSE COUNSEL’S OBJECTION DURING TRIAL COUNSEL’S IMPROPER REBUTTAL ARGUMENT.
This week at the CCAs: No CCA website lists an oral argument for this week.
This week at the court-martial trial level: The U.S. Army Trial Judiciary 1st Judicial Circuit’s docket indicates that the general court-martial case of United States v. Lakin will be tried Tuesday through Thursday at Fort Meade. I’ve taken three vacation days from work and plan to be there. I’ll be blogging about the case in the evening, plus Judge Mathews the Greatest and I are going to try to combine the Pony Express with the Internet. If I’m able, I’ll provide Judge Mathews the Greatest with updates during the day, which he’ll then post on CAAFlog.