Yesterday CAAF granted review in this Air Force case:

No. 19-0449/AF. U.S. v. Ladarion D. Stanton. CCA 39161. On consideration of the petition for grant of review of the decision of the United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals, it is ordered that said petition is granted on the following issue:

THE CONVENING AUTHORITY AND APPELLANT ENTERED INTO AN AGREEMENT THAT APPELLANT WOULD BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DISCHARGED IN LIEU OF THE SENTENCE REHEARING AUTHORIZED BY THE LOWER COURT. THE CONVENING AUTHORITY THEN PROCEEDED WITH APPELLANT’S COURT-MARTIAL BY APPROVING A SENTENCE OF “NO PUNISHMENT” AND FORWARDING THIS CASE TO THE LOWER COURT FOR FURTHER APPELLATE REVIEW. SHOULD THIS CASE BE DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE FOR BREACH OF A MATERIAL TERM OF APPELLANT’S PRETRIAL AGREEMENT WITH THE CONVENING AUTHORITY?

Briefs will be filed under Rule 25.

AFCCA’s opinion is available here. The opinion provides the following background:

On 20 July 2018, before the convening authority took action for the second time, the convening authority withdrew and dismissed without prejudice the pending two specifications of sexual assault and one specification of aggravated sexual contact. On the same day, Appellant requested to be administratively discharged “in lieu of trial by court-martial.” On 25 July 2018, the convening authority approved Appellant’s request and directed that Appellant be administratively discharged with an under other than honorable conditions service characterization. Two days later the convening authority took action on Appellant’s court-martial and approved a sentence of “no punishment,” as described above.

Slip op. at 1.

2 Responses to “CAAF grants review of a convening authority’s agreement to an administrative separation in lieu of a sentence rehearing”

  1. Mike says:

    There is a challenge on whether a commander has to give something less than court-martial punishment?

  2. Tami a/k/a Princess Leia says:

    This is weird.  It seems the appellant expected the convening authority to set aside a dismiss an affirmed conviction for larceny, along with the sexual assault charges that were withdrawn and dismissed.  Does a convening authority have authority to set aside and dismiss a conviction affirmed on appeal?  If the agreement called for getting rid of all convictions, then he didn’t get the benefit of the deal due to a remaining conviction.
     
    On the other hand, if they were simply bargaining for no sentence rehearing, then a sentence of no punishment for the larceny conviction seems to comply with the deal.

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