Last year, in United States v. Mangahas, 77 M.J. 220 (C.A.A.F. Feb. 6, 2018) (CAAFlog case page), a unanimous CAAF reversed 20 years of precedent and held that the statute of limitations for rape of adult occurring prior to January 6, 2006 (when Congress specifically eliminated the statute of limitations), is just five years. The decision was the #3 Military Justice Story of 2018. The Solicitor General did not ask the Supreme Court to review CAAF’s decision.

Earlier this year, in United States v. Briggs, 78 M.J. 289 (C.A.A.F. Feb. 22, 2019) (CAAFlog case page), CAAF applied Mangahas and held that the 2006 elimination of the statute of limitations for the offense of rape was not retroactive. Accordingly, CAAF reversed Briggs’ conviction of an allegation dating to 2005. The Solicitor General asked the Supreme Court to review that decision in July, and the case is now pending conference on October 1, 2019.

After CAAF decided Briggs, it issued summary dispositions in two trailer cases: United States v. Collins, 78 M.J. 415 (C.A.A.F. Mar. 12, 2019) (CAAFlog case page), and United States v. Daniels, __ M.J. __ (C.A.A.F. Jul. 22, 2019) (noted here). The Solicitor General asked the Supreme Court to review those cases, too, in a combined petition that it also asked the Court to consolidate with the petition in Briggs (noted here). The posture of Collins and Daniels are very different from Briggs, however, because in Briggs the statute of limitations (as reinterpreted by Mangahas) had not yet expired when Congress eliminated it, creating the possibility of retroactive application of the new, unlimited statute of limitations, while the prosecutions in Collins and Daniels were both firmly time-barred under the new, Mangahas standard (because a statute of limitations may be extended retroactively, but only for charges where the preexisting statute of limitations has not yet expired; the allegation in Collins dates to 2000, and the allegation in Daniels dates to 1998).

Collins has filed his brief in opposition to the Solicitor General’s petition. It is available here.

Additionally, the alleged victims in Collins and Daniels have filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the Solicitor General’s petition. It is available here.

4 Responses to “Collins files his brief in opposition, and two alleged victims file an amicus in support of certiorari”

  1. Dew_Process says:

    Without getting to the merits, the Amicus brief is most interesting – not substantively – but because contrary to the coddling given complainants in the CCA’s and CAAF masking their identities, they’ve named themselves in their Brief.

  2. TC says:

    Given the fact that if the case is at CCA or CAAF there’s typically been a conviction, it seems awfully pejorative to call the decision to protect the privacy of sexual assault victims “coddling.”

  3. TC2 says:

    Very pejorative