As most reasonable people would agree, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is one of the three best movies of all time. Remember the scene where Eric Idle is chanting “Bring out your dead,” and John Cleese brings out a man who protests that he’s not dead? If so, you’ll remember that the scene ends with Idle turning the man into an actual corpse. Today’s CAAF grant in United States v. Wilson brought that scene to mind. Will Wilson end with CAAF playing Eric Idle’s role and Article 10 playing the role of the corpse?
From time to time, I’m asked to give military justice updates. And when I do, I show a slide of a tombstone with “Article 10” written on it. Article 10 appeared to be dead letter in the wake of cases like United States v. Cossio , 64 M.J. 254 (C.A.A.F.2007), and United States v. Schuber, 70 M.J. 181 (C.A.A.F. 2011), in which trial judges found Article 10 violations only to have military appellate courts conclude that the government acted with reasonable diligence. See also United States v. Thompson, 68 M.J. 308 (C.A.A.F. 2010).
But, lo and behold, here’s Article 10 protesting, “I’m not dead yet.” Today CAAF granted review of this issue:
WHETHER APPELLANT WAS DENIED HIS RIGHT TO A SPEEDY TRIAL IN VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 10, UCMJ, WHEN THE GOVERNMENT FAILED TO ACT WITH REASONABLE DILIGENCE IN BRINGING HIM TO TRIAL.
United States v. Wilson, __ M.J. __, No. 13-0096/AR (C.A.A.F. Dec. 17, 2012). ACCA had affirmed in a two-sentence opinion.
If CAAF does kill off Article 10, maybe we could build a large wooden badger . . . .