This week at SCOTUS: The Solicitor General received extensions of time to respond to the cert. petitions in Sterling and Dalmazzi. I’m not aware of any other military justice developments at the Supreme Court, where I’m tracking four cases:

This week at CAAF: The next scheduled oral argument at CAAF is on April 4, 2017, at the Notre Dame Law School, Notre Dame, Indiana. Additionally, on April 5, 2017, CAAF will hear oral argument at the Claude W. Pettit College of Law, Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio.

This week at the ACCA: The Army CCA will hear oral argument in one case this week, on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, at 1 p.m.:

United States v. Hoffman, No. 20140172

Issues:
ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR V. THE JUDGE CONDUCTED HIMSELF AND THE TRIAL IN A MANNER THAT UNCONSTITUTIONALLY DEPRIVED APPELLANT OF A FAIR TRIAL.

SPECIFIED ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR I. WHETHER THE MILITARY JUDGE ERRED IN ALLOWING THE GOVERNMENT TO PRESENT EVIDENCE OF APPELLANT’S VOLUNTARY ABSENCE FROM THE COURT-MARTIAL AS UNCHARGED MISCONDUCT UNDER MIL. R. EVID. 404(B) AND/OR R.C.M. 1001(B) AS EVIDENCE “DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE OFFENSES” AND AS EVIDENCE OF APPELLANT’S REHABILITATIVE POTENTIAL.

SUPPLEMENTAL ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR I. THE MILITARY JUDGE COMMITTED PLAIN AND PREJUDICIAL ERROR WHEN HE INSTRUCTED THE PANEL THAT IT COULD CONSIDER THE CHARGED SEXUAL MISCONDUCT FOR MIL. R. EVID. 414 PURPOSES [SEE UNITED STATES V. HILLS, 75 M.J. 350 (C.A.A.F. 2016)].

SUPPLEMENTAL ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR II. BY NOT MAKING SPECIAL FINDINGS ON SPECIFICATION 2 OF CHARGE II [WHEN THEY EXCEPTED OUT “ON DIVERS OCCASIONS”], [THE PANEL MADE IT SO] THIS COURT CANNOT CONDUCT AN ARTICLE 66, [UCMJ,] REVIEW AND, THEREFORE, MUST DISMISS THE SPECIFICATION [SEE UNITED STATES V. WALTERS, 58 M.J. 391 (C.A.A.F 2003)].

This week at the AFCCA: The next scheduled oral argument at the Air Force CCA is on March 28, 2017.

This week at the CGCCA: The Coast Guard CCA’s oral argument schedule shows no scheduled oral arguments.

This week at the NMCCA: The Navy-Marine Corps CCA will hear oral argument in one case this week, on Friday, Mach 24, 2017, at 10 a.m.:

United States v. Andrews, No. 201600208

Case summary:
In a mixed-plea case, a panel of officer and enlisted members sitting as a general court-martial convicted the appellant, contrary to his pleas, of one specification of sexual assault, in violation of Article 120, UCMJ, 10 U.S.C. § 920 (2012). The military judge also convicted the appellant, pursuant to his pleas, of one specification of unauthorized absence, one specification of flight from apprehension, one specification of making a false official statement, one specification of wrongful use of marijuana, and one specification of larceny, in violation of Articles 86, 95, 107, 112a, and 121, UCMJ, 10 U.S.C. §§ 886, 895, 907, 912a, and 121 (2012). The members sentenced the appellant to confinement for thirty-six months, reduction to pay grade E-1, forfeiture of $1,616.00 pay per month for thirty-six months, and a dishonorable discharge. The convening authority approved forfeitures of $1,566.90 pay per month for thirty-six months and the remainder of the sentence as adjudged.

Issue:
THE TRIAL COUNSEL AND ASSISTANT TRIAL COUNSEL MAY NOT MAKE IMPROPER ARGUMENT TO THE MEMBERS. DURING CLOSING ARGUMENT THE TRIAL COUNSEL AND ASSISTANT TRIAL COUNSEL INVENTED ADMISSIONS, REPEATEDLY CALLED SN ANDREWS A LIAR, ACCUSED THE DEFENSE COUNSEL OF NOT BELIEVING THEIR CLIENT, MADE INFLAMMATORY ARGUMENTS, AND MISSTATED THE LAW. WAS THIS PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT?

2 Responses to “This Week in Military Justice – March 19, 2017”

  1. k fischer says:

    THE TRIAL COUNSEL AND ASSISTANT TRIAL COUNSEL MAY NOT MAKE IMPROPER ARGUMENT TO THE MEMBERS. DURING CLOSING ARGUMENT THE TRIAL COUNSEL AND ASSISTANT TRIAL COUNSEL INVENTED ADMISSIONS, REPEATEDLY CALLED SN ANDREWS A LIAR, ACCUSED THE DEFENSE COUNSEL OF NOT BELIEVING THEIR CLIENT, MADE INFLAMMATORY ARGUMENTS, AND MISSTATED THE LAW. WAS THIS PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT?
     

    So, you can’t call a guy who pleaded guilty to false official statement a “liar?”  All the other stuff sounds pretty bad, but may not be so bad depending on the factual context.  I am most interested in how exactly the TC and ATC “invented admissions.” 
     
    And, if the Government’s argument accusing defense counsel of not believing their client is kosher, then I guess the argument, “For anyone to argue that the complaining witness in this case can be believed beyond a reasonable doubt, they’d have to be an idiot or an ostrich” is also kosher.

  2. k fischer says:

    Somewhat military justice related. 
     
    I don’t know if anyone follows some of the rape case the Crown prosecutes, but they rival in their absurdity some of the Courts-martial I have tried or read about on the news.  If anyone wonders where the UCMJ could be headed next, then I recommend that you check out this link.  Scary stuff, indeed, when you consider the push for and the subsequent codification of the Article that prevents complaining witnesses from having to testify at Article 32 hearings.  Does the UK have a 6th Amendment equivalent?

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