CAAF yesterday denied military death row inmate Ronald Gray’s writ appeal, appearing to set the stage for his habeas litigation to resume in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas:

Misc. No. 12-8017/AR.  Ronald GRAY, Appellant v. Eric BELCHER, Colonel, U.S. Army, Commandant, U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Appellee.  CCA 20110093.  On consideration of the writ-appeal petition, it is ordered that said writ-appeal petition is hereby denied without prejudice to raising the issue asserted after the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas rules on the pending habeas petition.

Gray v. Belcher, __ M.J. __, Misc. No. 12-8017/AR (C.A.A.F. Apr. 17, 2012).

7 Responses to “CAAF denies Gray writ appeal”

  1. stewie says:

    Interesting that it was denied without prejudice to raise it after the Federal appellate process is done, which mean they still have that bite at that particular apple left to go.

  2. Cap'n Crunch says:

    You know…. this raises an interesting issue.  To pursue federal habeas, typically you have to exhaust remedies.  Are they exhausted where CAAF leaves the door open?  I’m guessing we’ll see the government argue this issue.

  3. John Faux says:

    Yeah not very clear what CAAF thinks it’s doing.  You invoke A3 courts after the military courts are done, not the other way around.

  4. Socrates says:

    Depending on the posture of this case and the particular issues at stake, CAAF’s denial is certainly valid, but the language stating “without prejudice to raising the issue asserted after…” may be void, or at least set-up a logical & legal dead-end.  An Article I court certainly can’t review the work of an Article III court.  Habeas review requires a “full and fair review” in the military justice system – and habeas is the FINAL stage.  This can’t turn into a ping-pong match between CAAF and the 10th Circuit.     

  5. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    Ah, jurisdiction.  One of my favorite topics, and, I think, a sensitive (or sore) subject for the Court.  After many battles in that area over the last 5 years,  I think the Court is terribly reluctant to ever commit to writing any suggestion that in any case there is a final action that terminates its jurisdiction to further review a case.
     

  6. stewie says:

    Well, I think the Article III Courts will simply ignore this and drive on, while the CAAF will at least leave open the door to a filing (even if followed by a no sorry your appeals with us are exhausted).

  7. Socrates says:

    Agree with Stewie – CAAF leaves door open, but with its fingers on the outside.  Judge Rogers should be proactive and aware of this and simply slam the door himself in his final habeas ruling, ouuching CAAFs fingers.  Seems like he has to to keep the case in the 10th circuit and avoid jurisdictional confusion.  Its almost like when the military courts call out the CAs bad language in its actions – declaring that language “void ab initio.”  Same concept.