In United States v. Caldwell, 75 M.J. 276 (C.A.A.F. May 16, 2016) (CAAFlog case page), a unanimous CAAF found that there is no scenario where an accused could innocently engage in the kind of conduct prohibited by the general intent military offense of maltreatment, rejecting the appellant’s claim that the military judge’s instructions were inadequate based on the Supreme Court’s decision in Elonis v. United States, 575 U..S. __, 135 S. Ct. 2001 (2015).

The appellant has now sought review by SCOTUS. The case is Caldwell v. United States, No. 16-209. The petition for certiorari is available here. The question presented is:

Whether Elonis and its reasoning apply to all similar federal criminal statutes or whether, as the court of appeals here reasoned, Carter v. United States, 530 U.S. 255 (2000), creates a class of “general intent” crimes that fall outside the reach of Elonis and for which proof of negligence is sufficient to convict.

Comments are closed.