New Supreme Court case on confessions

The Supreme Court issued a decision today in Corley v. United States.

The SCOTUSWiki documentation.

The decision in Corley.

This may have some impact on military "confessions" and situations.  It's a McNabb / Mallory issue.

The question here is whether Congress intended 18 U. S. C. §3501 to discard, or merely to narrow, the rule in McNabb v. United States, 318 U. S. 332 (1943), and Mallory v. United States, 354 U. S. 449 (1957), under which an arrested person’s [voluntary] confession is inadmissible if given after an unreasonable delay in bringing him before a judge. We hold that Congress meant to limit, not eliminate, McNabb-Mallory.

It's been a while since litigating McNabb issues within the military.  Generally the military courts were not receptive to NcNabb or 18 U. S. Code 3501.  Which has been good.  However, now its possible there's some argument to be made on the "delay" issue when there is a confession.  Time to get creative.

 We categorically reject the underlying premise postulated by the reviewer that the provisions of 18 USC 3501 operate, sub silentio, to vitiate the protections afforded the military accused by Article 31. It certainly does not follow, as the reviewer seems to reason, that Section 3501 must be presumed applicable to military prosecutions merely because it contains no specific declaration to the contrary. That approach wholly ignores the essentially autonomous nature of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a monolithic body of legislation having exclusive application to military prosecutions. Throughout our history, the one common denominator which has always characterized our National legislative policy is the unyielding dedication of the Congress to the proposition that the unique nature and function of the military establishment requires that the rights of servicemen be separately defined in segregated legislation. See Burns v Wilson, 346 US 137, 140 (1953); United States v Culp, 14 U.S.C.M.A. 199, 33 C.M.R. 411 (1963); United States v Smith, 13 U.S.C.M.A. 105, 32 C.M.R. 105 (1962).

United States v. Gilliard, 42 C.M.R. 1029, 1033 (A.F.C.M.R. 1970).

Posted in:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *