Other than some Serianne-related housekeeping, (edit: and Col Sullivan’s coverage of the Brissette Article 62 appeal), it’s been a while since we’ve written anything about the Courts of Criminal Appeals. However, they’ve been busy:
The Air Force CCA finds that specifications alleging indecent acts with a child under Article 134, that do not allege a terminal element, provide sufficient notice of criminality, and affirms. The court notes that the appellant did not object to the specifications, did not object to the trial military judge’s instructions regarding the terminal elements, and concedes that specifications challenged for the first time on appeal will be liberally construed in favor of validity. United States v. Wilson, No. 37486 (A. F. Ct. Crim. App., December 15, 2011).
The Army CCA, while evaluating the factual sufficiency of a conviction for violation of a lawful general regulation that prohibited relationships between permanent party personnel and those undergoing initial entry training (IET), the court noted that the accused was a MOS trainee – neither permanent party nor undergoing IET. So, perhaps in the spirit of the season, it rules: “Equating MOS trainees to permanent party – grandmothers to toads?” United States v. Jones, No. 20090401 (A. Ct. Crim. App., December 14, 2011).
The Coast Guard CCA makes quick work of “anomalies” in the record and affirms, despite “ambiguous” findings on one charge, “no announcement” of findings to the specification in another, “irregular renditions of pleas,” a confusing promulgating order, and a charge sheet with a specification (to which the appellant pleaded guilty of a LIO) lined out by the trial counsel with the notation “withdrawn and dismissed without prejudice.” United States v. Barker, No. 1340 (C. G. Ct. Crim. App., November 17, 2011).
The Navy-Marine Corps CCA, summarily affirming findings and sentence, drew a concurring opinion that appears to be a clemency recommendation. Noting the operational history of the appellant (a 12-year Staff Sergeant convicted, pursuant to his pleas, of a series of relatively-small larcenies from the Marine Corps Exchange), including his receipt of a Purple Heart, Judge Harris wonders if faster action by the Exchange and the command wouldn’t have avoided the “truly sad” end of the appellant’s career. United States v. Booker, No. 201100432 (N-M Ct. Crim. App., December 13, 2011).