Convening authority actions

On 22 March 2012, CAAF made summary disposition of United States v. Sobenes.

No. 11-0566/MC. U.S. v. Alan D. SOBENES. CCA 201000381. On consideration of the petition for grant of review of the decision of the United States Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, we note that the convening authority approved the sentence, which included a dishonorable discharge, and then stated "the adjudged sentence is approved and will be executed." Under Article 71(c)(1), UCMJ, a punitive discharge cannot be ordered executed until, after the completion of direct appellate review, there is a final judgment as to the legality of the proceedings. Thus, to the extent that the convening authority’s action purported to execute the dishonorable discharge, it was a nullity. To avoid any error in this regard, we again suggest that the model "Forms for Action" in the Manual for Courts-Martial, United States app. 16 at A16-1 – A16-6 (2008 ed.) be revised. See United States v. Karras, 70 M.J. 25 (C.A.A.F. 2011); United States v. Politte, 63 M.J. 24, 26 n.11 (C.A.A.F. 2006). Accordingly, it is ordered that said petition is hereby granted, and that, subject to the above, the decision of the United States Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals is affirmed. [See also ORDERS GRANTING PETITION FOR REVIEW this date.]

For the SJA a reminder.

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