Yesterday CAAF granted review of an implied bias issue affecting a member in a Coast Guard case:
No. 16-0006/CG. U.S. v. Matthew A. Rogers. CCA 1391. On consideration of the petition for grant of review of the decision of the United States Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals, said petition is granted on the following issue specified by the Court:
WHETHER THE MILITARY JUDGE ERRED IN DENYING THE IMPLIED BIAS CHALLENGE AGAINST CDR K IN LIGHT OF HER VARIOUS PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT.
Briefs will be filed under Rule 25.
The Coast Guard CCA’s opinion is available here and reveals that:
During voir dire examination, CDR K said she had been assigned to draft a sexual assault response and prevention operational plan as part of her duties on the Coast Guard Atlantic Area staff. The draft plan emphasized preventive measures. At the time of trial, her draft was complete and awaiting the Area Commander’s signature. While performing that duty, she had monitored news stories on sexual assault and read background materials on the subject. She did not deal with response to sexual assault complaints. When asked about the rate of false claims of sexual assault, she said she had read, probably in multiple sources, that the rate of false claims is about two percent, “and that’s no different than any other crime statistic for false accusations.” When asked if she could disregard those statistics and look at the facts of this case, she responded affirmatively, and added, “I know statistics can be maneuvered by whoever produces those statistics.” She also testified that a co-worker had been falsely accused of sexual misconduct and that she was mindful of the devastating consequences that ensue from false reports.
United States v. Rogers, No. 1391, slip op. at 3-4 (C.G. Ct. Crim. App. Jul. 8, 2015) (citations to record omitted).