LCMJ

Here is an upublished opinion in the Court of Appeals, First Circuit, State of Louisana, in State v. Davis.

Note, this case was a court-martial tried under the Louisiana Code of Military Justice (a National Guard case).

La. R.S. 29:101-242, applies to all members of the state military forces when not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and while in a duty status or under a lawful order to be in a duty status. The processing of charges and all proceedings, including trial, may be conducted without regard to the duty status of the accused. La. R.S. 29:102(A) and (C).

This civilian court seems to have a good handle on military justice, as you can see in its discussion of post-trial delay.

There are no Louisiana cases interpreting post-trial delays. As the LCMJ is modeled upon federal laws, we look to the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (C.A.A.F.) for guidance in appellate review of military justice matters. SeeState v. Powdrill, 95-2307, p. 4 (La. 11/25/96), 684 So.2d 350, 354.

There is a short and sweet discussion of the need for a separate military justice system because:

In his second assignment of error, Davis contends that his court-martial occurred in violation of Article 5, Section 26(B) of the Louisiana Constitution because a district attorney or his designated assistant did not bring the prosecution.

The third assignment of error is effectively a UCMJ Article 2 and 3 argument.

Specifically, he contends that the military court lost jurisdiction over him when he was discharged from the armed forces. We decline to address the issue of whether the court would lose jurisdiction once the accused is discharged from duty, because the record in this case fails to support Davis’s assertion that he was discharged.

The fifth assignment of error is unlawful command influence, the carcinoma, as Judge Maksym colorfully (and accurately) casts the issue, which must be excised or surgically removed.  This issue arises in the context of a high profile case and command efforts to avoid personnel involved in the case publically discussing it.  We have seen this in UCMJ cases have we not.  The court found no UCI. 

The opinion seques this issue into an issue of unfair pretrial publicity and finds there was no UCI because the defense and evidence failed to establish the members were aware of the publicity and their judgment affected.