Today CAAF decided United States v. Wilson, No. 13-0096/AR (opinion) (CAAFlog case page), finding that Appellant’s right to a speedy trial under Article 10 was not violated, affirming the decision of the Army Court of Criminal Appeals.
Judge Erdmann writes for the court, joined by Judges Ryan and Stucky. Chief Judge Baker dissents, joined by Senior Judge Cox who also writes a separate dissenting opinion.
As in Mizgala, 61 M.J. at 129, we share the military judge’s concern that there appear to be “several periods during which the Government seems to have been in a waiting posture.” The Government is tasked with handling cases with “reasonable diligence,” id., and the inattention to timeliness in Wilson’s case is troubling. However, the stipulated timeline, adopted by the military judge as a finding of fact, provides a factual explanation for much of the delay attributable to the Government. The timeline provides context and explanations which reflect reasonable pretrial decisions and activities including potential immunity for other actors, the unit’s pending deployment to Afghanistan, drug testing by USACIL, and “complicated” pretrial negotiations.
The delays identified by the military judge weigh against the Government, however, that weight is minimized when balanced against the Government’s explanations as to the overall time period. There is no evidence indicating that the Government was engaged in a “deliberate attempt to delay the trial in order to hamper the defense,” which would weigh heavily against the Government. Johnson, 17 M.J. at 259; Barker, 407 U.S. at 531.
Slip op. at 14-15. More to follow.