Articles Posted in Worth the Read

Sara Koenig, Was Anyone Killed Looking for Bowe Bergdahl? Some Hard Evidence at Long Last, 6 October 2016.

After nearly a year of waiting, [Serial has] finally received the Army’s internal investigations into the 2009 deaths of six soldiers from Bowe Bergdahl’s unit: MW, CB, KC, MM, DA and MM.

None of these investigations report that any of these men was on a mission to look for Bergdahl. Neither Bergdahl’s name, nor the term DUSTWUN (shorthand for a missing soldier), appears in any of the documents.

This article showed that the vast majority of court-martial sentences are affirmed by AFCCA. On the rare occasion when sentence relief was granted, it was usually not based on factual sufficiency or sentence appropriateness. While there has been some fluctuation in how often AFCCA grants sentence relief, it is minimal and to some extent explained by the influence CAAF has on it.

That’s the conclusion of Maj. Kevin Gotfredson and Capt. Micah Smith in their article, Sentence Relief: At the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals During the Last 10 Years.  43(3) THE REPORTER 21 (2016).  Their research was motivated by public discussion of an “epidemic” number of valid convictions being reversed because of “factual sufficiency.”

See more discussion at my website here.


so starts a post at wrongfulconvictionsblog–Junk Science Reigns ____ So Much for True Science in the Courtroom.

[W]hen the National Academy of Sciences report Forensic Science in the United States; A Path Forward was published

people thought we might see a true effort to address “junk science being used to convict innocent people.”

Do you have enough to read, well here’s more.

In sum, the Miranda decision has, at best, had little or no impact on the risks of false confession and wrongful conviction. At worst, the influence of police on Miranda procedures and subsequent litigation has actually made things worse for defendants.

Leo & Cutler, False Confessions in the Twenty-First Century.  The Champion magazine, (2016) ForthcomingUniv. of San Francisco Law Research Paper No. 2016-15.

There are a couple of interesting items in Vol. 224, MIL. L. REV.

MILITARY JUSTICE INCOMPETENCE OVER COMPETENCY DETERMINATIONS, by Major David C. Lai.  This is relevant to me because I have an appellate case where there are issues with the client’s current competency and there were at trial.

ALWAYS ON DUTY: CAN I ORDER YOU TO REPORT CRIMES OR INTERVENE? By Major Matthew E. Dyson.  This is highly relevant in regard to the ongoing sexual assault issues and considerations of by-stander behavior.

Practitioners of military justice have been dealing with change over the last years due primarily to different approaches to sexual assault cases.  Friend and colleague Cully Stimson has a published piece from his and his organization’s perspective.  Take a look.

The 2015 Report of the Military Justice Review Group: Reasonable Next Steps in the Ongoing Professionalization of the Military Justice System