CAAF today issued this order to AFCCA arising from the second petition for extraordinary relief in Carter v. United States complaining about the impact of systemic appellate delay in the Air Force’s justice system. (Note our previous coverage here and here, as well as Michael Doyle’s McClatchy article here.)
That the United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals shall either decide the case within 45 days or provide this Court with an explanation of the need for further consideration.
Carter v. United States, __ M.J. __, No. 13-8006/AF (C.A.A.F. Nov. 27, 2012).
This order raises the question of what will happen with other Air Force appellate cases that have exceeded the third Moreno standard. By my count, as of today, there are 104 fully briefed noncapital cases pending initial review by the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals in which the Moreno 18-month docketing-to-decision standard has been exceeded. 23 of them are older than Carter, which was docketed with the Air Force Court on 26 August 2010. The oldest was docketed on 23 September 2009. Of course, Carter is still confined. I don’t know how many of the cases older than Carter involve confined appellants, though I know that several of them don’t. Could any confined appellant whose case has been pending longer than Carter’s obtain a similar order? How about confined appellants whose cases have been pending almost as long as Carter’s? Time will probably provide answers to those questions.