Coast Guard CCA sets-aside United States v. Bond

United States v. Bond.

Before this court, Appellant has assigned the following errors:
The military judge erred when he denied the defense motion to dismiss Charges I and III for prior jeopardy.
An unsuspended bad-conduct discharge is an inappropriately severe punishment for the crimes of which Appellant was convicted.
Appellant’s Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights were denied when he was prohibited from recording the Article 32 investigation, and by the subsequent denial of his motion for a new Article 32 investigation.

We exercise our Article 66, UCMJ authority and set aside the findings and sentence.

Appellant was charged with Rape, arising from alleged conduct following a party while in the THETIS’s homeport of Key West, Florida. Following a contested trial, members found Appellant not guilty of the most serious charge of Rape, and found him guilty of only the Barbados criminal conduct for which he had already received punishment at Article 15 Captain’s Mast.

Considering the facts of this case, we decline to reach the merits of the three Assignments of Error. Instead, we exercise our Article 66, UCMJ authority and set aside the findings in this case. We believe Appellant was appropriately punished for the criminal conduct at Barbados by the CGC THETIS Commanding Officer at Article 15 Captain’s Mast. Preserving convictions of the same (or lesser) offenses by court-martial does not strike us as necessary or attractive.