Yesterday – nine days after hearing oral argument – CAAF summarily reversed the Army CCA’s decision in United States v. Gonzalez-Gomez, No. 17-0200/AR (CAAFlog case page), remanding the case for further consideration of the adequacy of the CCA’s grant of 180 days of confinement credit for dilatory post-trial processing:
No. 17-0200/AR. U.S. v. Carlos A. Gonzalez-Gomez. CCA 20121100. On further consideration of the granted issue, 76 M.J. 174 (C.A.A.F.2017), the briefs of the parties, and oral argument, it is ordered that the decision of the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals is set aside. The record of trial is returned to the Judge Advocate General of the Army for remand to the Court of Criminal Appeals for a new review under Article 66, Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. § 866 (2012). In this review, the Court of Criminals Appeals will specifically address the following issue:
IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT THE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS ISSUED ITS INITIAL OPINION OUTSIDE OF THE TIMEFRAME ESTABLISHED IN UNITED STATES v. MORENO, 63 M.J. 129 (C.A.A.F. 2006), AND ONE DAY AFTER APPELLANT WAS RELEASED FROM CONFINEMENT ON PAROLE, DID THE 180-DAY REDUCTION IN THE ADJUDGED SENTENCE OF CONFINEMENT AFFORD APPELLANT MEANINGFUL RELIEF FOR THE DILATORY POST-TRIAL PROCESSING?
The 180-days of credit was for the 641 days it took the convening authority to act on the result of trial. But it took the Army CCA 782 to issue that decision, and Gomzalez-Gomez was released from confinement one day before the CCA acted.
CAAF granted review to determine whether this deprived Gonzalez-Gomez of his right to due process. Yesterday’s summary reversal doesn’t address that issue. But it does seem to be an invitation to the Army CCA to do something dramatic.