Articles Posted in IAC

Here is something from good friend Don Rehkopf as a reminder to defense counsel.
1)   For anyone representing a client with Art. 120, offenses that will trigger a Dismissal or DD upon conviction; or
2)   Anyone representing a client where there may be a chance of being sentenced to a Dismissal or DD;

An accused in pretrial confinement awaiting trial receives day for day credit toward any sentence to confinement. In the old days, we referred to that as “Allen credit.”

Note, an accused may not automatically get credit for time spent in civilian jail–that needs to be litigated at trial. See United States v. Harris, __ M.J. ___, 2019 CAAF LEXIS 361 (C.A.A.F. 2019).

Which brings us to United States v. Howell, NMCCA, 2019. On appeal, Howell argued that the prosecution wrongly argued to nullify his pretrial confinement credit.

Be careful of who you talk to if you are in trouble.  I think it’s fair to say that CAAF has narrowed the who and when requirement for an Article 31, UCMJ, warning, as illustrated in a recent Air Force case.

Thus, Article 31(b), UCMJ, warnings are required when (1) a person subject to the UCMJ, (2) interrogates or requests any statement, (3) from an accused or person suspected of an offense, and (4) the statements regard the offense of which the person questioned is accused or suspected.” Jones, 73 M.J. at 361 (footnotes omitted) (citation omitted). However, the second of these prongs is met only if the questioner was acting in an official law enforcement or disciplinary capacity, or could reasonably be considered to be acting in such a capacity by a “reasonable person” in the suspect’s position. Id. at 362. “Questioning by a military superior in the immediate chain of command ‘will normally be presumed to be for disciplinary purposes,’” although such a presumption is not conclusive. Swift, 53 M.J. at 446 (quoting United States v. Good, 32 M.J. 105, 108 (C.M.A. 1991)) (additional citations omitted).

An “interrogation” includes “any formal or informal questioning in which an incriminating response either is sought or is a reasonable consequence of such questioning.” Mil. R. Evid. 305(b)(2).

The SCOTUS might soon give us an idea on the subject of jury nullification in Lee v. United States.

Issue: Whether it is always irrational for a noncitizen defendant with longtime legal resident status and extended familial and business ties to the United States to reject a plea offer notwithstanding strong evidence of guilt when the plea would result in mandatory and permanent deportation.

It is not obvious from the Issue that nullification is central to the case.  But, Ilya Shapiro, The Right to Hope for Jury Nullification, CATO Institute, 9 February 2017, explains.

Please don’t do this.

[T]he defense counsels did not respect the judge’s ruling.
[I]n an astounding show of contempt, [they] tried to force the judge to reverse himself by their unilateral withdrawal from the proceedings, on the apparent pretext that they were not prepared.

Here’s an interesting summary disposition from CAAF.

No. 16-0468/AR. U.S. v. James H. Lee. CCA 20140309. On consideration of the petition for grant of review of the decision of the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals, and in light of the conflicting affidavits between Appellant and his trial defense counsel, we conclude that the Court of Criminal Appeals erred when it failed to order a factfinding hearing pursuant to United States v. DuBay, 17 C.M.A. 147, 37 C.M.R. 411 (1967), to determine the facts surrounding Appellant’s allegations that his trial defense counsel was ineffective in failing to identify and investigate potential mitigation evidence for the presentencing hearing. See United States v. Ginn, 47 M.J. 236 (C.A.A.F. 1997). Accordingly, it is ordered that said petition is hereby granted on the following issue:

WHETHER APPELLANT WAS DENIED HIS SIXTH AMENDMENT RIGHT TO THE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL WHEN HIS DEFENSE COUNSEL FAILED TO IDENTIFY AND INVESTIGATE POTENTIAL MITIGATION EVIDENCE.

We tend to focus on IAC issues to do with the merits, which on occasion includes a failure to investigate.  Here is a CAAF reminder, to us andACCA.

No. 16-0468/AR. U.S. v. James H. Lee. CCA 20140309. On consideration of the petition for grant of review of the decision of the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals, and in light of the conflicting affidavits between Appellant and his trial defense counsel, we conclude that the Court of Criminal Appeals erred when it failed to order a factfindinghearing pursuant to United States v. DuBay, 17 C.M.A. 147, 37 C.M.R. 411 (1967), to determine the facts surrounding Appellant’s allegations that his trial defense counsel was ineffective in failing to identify and investigate potential mitigation evidence for the presentencing hearing. See United States v. Ginn, 47 M.J. 236 (C.A.A.F. 1997). Accordingly, it is ordered that said petition is hereby granted on the following issue:

WHETHER APPELLANT WAS DENIED HIS SIXTH AMENDMENT RIGHT TO THE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL WHEN HIS DEFENSE COUNSEL FAILED TO IDENTIFY AND INVESTIGATE POTENTIAL MITIGATION EVIDENCE.

The CAAF took the following action last Friday.

No. 16-0309/AR. U.S. v. Michael B. O’Connor. CCA 20130853. On consideration of the petition for grant of review of the decision of the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals, and in light of the conflicting affidavits between Appellant and his trial defense counsel, we conclude that the Court of Criminal Appeals erred when it failed to order a factfinding hearing pursuant to United States v. DuBay, 17 C.M.A. 147, 37 C.M.R. 411 (1967), to determine the facts surrounding Appellant’s allegations that his trial defense counsel were ineffective in failing to investigate alleged unlawful command influence in the preferral process. SeeUnited States v. Ginn, 47 M.J. 236(C.A.A.F. 1997). Accordingly, it is ordered that said petition is hereby granted on the following issue:

WHETHER APPELLANT WAS DENIED EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL AT TRIAL BY HIS COUNSEL FAILING TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGED UNLAWFUL COMMAND INFLUENCE IN THE PREFERRAL PROCESS.

Here is another case where a military prisoner has sought habeas corpus relief, in the Kansas District Court (the Tenth Circuit).

Valois v. Commandant, USDB

The case provides a fascinating discussion of the maze and complexities of DoD and Service regulations the award of good time credit, work abatement, and such, applicable to clients confined at the USDB.

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces has granted a petition on the following issue:

WHETHER APPELLANT RECEIVED INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE WHEN DEFENSE COUNSEL FAILED TO INTRODUCE EVIDENCE WHICH STRONGLY CORROBORATED THE DEFENSE THEORY THAT THE ALLEGATIONS IN THIS CASE WERE FALSE.

Here is a link to the AFCCA opinion in United States v. McIntosh, ACM 37977, 2014 CCA LEXIS 29 (A. F. Ct. Crim. App. January 17, 2014).