CAAFlog » October 2018 Term » United States v. Gleason

Audio of today’s oral arguments at CAAF is available on CAAF’s website at the following links:

United States v. McDonald, No. 18-0308/AR (CAAFlog case page): Oral argument audio.

United States v. Gleason, No. 18-0305/AR (CAAFlog case page): Oral argument audio.

The audio is also available on our oral argument audio podcast.

CAAF will hear oral argument in the Army case of United States v. Gleason, No. 18-0305/AR (CAAFlog case page), on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, after the argument in McDonald. The court granted review of a single issue:

Whether the Army Court erred by affirming a novel specification covered by an enumerated Art. 134, UCMJ offense.

Last year, in United States v. Reese, 76 M.J. 297 (C.A.A.F. Jun. 14, 2017) (CAAFlog case page), CAAF explained that a novel Article 134 specification must allege an act or omission that is not already an enumerated Article 134 offense, and it reversed a conviction of a novel violation of Article 134 that was intended to charge obstruction of justice but omitted elements of that enumerated offense.

Gleason presents an substantially-identical challenge. Staff Sergeant (E-6) Gleason was convicted of multiple offenses including a novel Article 134 specification alleging that he interfered with the ability of his victim to place a call requesting emergency assistance. Gleason asserts that the novel specification was improper because it eliminated elements of the enumerated Article 134 offense of obstruction of justice.

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Last year, in United States v. Reese, 76 M.J. 297 (C.A.A.F. Jun. 14, 2017) (CAAFlog case page), CAAF explained that a novel Article 134 specification must allege an act or omission that is not already an enumerated Article 134 offense, and it reversed a conviction of a novel violation of Article 134 that was intended to charge obstruction of justice but omitted elements of that enumerated offense.

On Friday CAAF granted review in this Army case:

No. 18-0305/AR. U.S. v. Michael C. Gleason. CCA 20150379. On consideration of the petition for grant of review of the decision of the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals, it is ordered that said petition is granted on the following issue:

WHETHER THE ARMY COURT ERRED BY AFFIRMING A NOVEL SPECIFICATION COVERED BY AN ENUMERATED ART. 134, UCMJ OFFENSE.

Briefs will be filed under Rule 25.

The Army CCA’s decision is available here but does not discuss this issue or the facts in detail. The novel Article 134 offense appears to be interfering with an emergency call. I’m going to engage in some pure speculation and say that the enumerated offense that might cover the conduct is either disorderly conduct (¶ 73) or communicating a threat (¶ 110). Or both.