LTC Eric Carpenter, the head of the Army JAG School’s Crim Law department, is writing a series of posts on 31(b)log analyzing ACCA’s unpublished opinion affirming the death sentence in Akbar. United States v. Akbar, No. ARMY 20050514 (A. Ct. Crim. App. July 13, 2012).  His three posts are here, here, and here.

As previously noted by Phil “My Liege” Cave, Lawfare has posted this harsh critique of CAAF’s Ali opinion by Professor and Associate Dean Steve Vladeck of American University’s Washington College of Law.

2 Responses to “Opinion analyses”

  1. stewie says:

    Addressing the voir dire issue, some questions for the group assuming the issue involved is the legitimacy of the strategy of “only need one so don’t kick anyone off.”
    1. If you in fact, as LTC Carpenter notes, do kick one person off, haven’t you ceased that strategy of “the Ace?” Aren’t you in fact now back in the arena of trying to determine who to keep and who must go? And shouldn’t those decisions now be judged by normal considerations?
     
    2. Given that how would you approach having panel members (as a non-exhaustive list) who say they’ve watched the pretrial news and believes the A to be guilty or that their formula for sentencing is if you take a life, you give a life? Can you rehabilitate those folks?
     
    A separate question but tangentially related to the competent counsel issue. Wouldn’t we want in death penalty cases for the three appellate judges assigned to have extensive criminal law experience at the circuit court level, even possibly going so far as to specifically assign senior crim law experts to sit as a special panel?
    Akbar’s case had multiple ACCA judges tied to the case, at least 5-6 IIRC. Doesn’t that strike anyone as…problematic? (in the alternative, why not make capital cases automatically en banc?).
     
    As for why you wouldn’t publish a capital case, that is mind-boggling to me. Heck, at a base level, it means at this point, there still is no precedent set as to whether or how Ring/Apprendi apply to military capital cases. That’d be kinda nice to know one way or the other for all practitioners.

  2. Dew_Process says:

    Steve Vladeck’s analysis is a must read for anyone interested in the underlying Constitutional issues.