Reposting. A British Army court-martial
In United States v. Hills, 75 M.J. 350 (C.A.A.F. 2016), the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces decided that–
[B]ecause the evidence of the charged sexual misconduct was already admissible in order to prove the offenses at issue, the application of Military Rule of Evidence (M.R.E.) 413 — a rule of admissibility for evidence that would otherwise not be admissible — was error. Neither the text of M.R.E. 413 nor the legislative history of its federal counterpart suggests that the rule was intended to permit the government to show propensity by relying on the very acts the government needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in the same case.
M.R.E. 413 otherwise allows the prosecution to introduce evidence of other similar sexual offenses to “prove” a pattern of sexually assaultive behavior. It’s profile evidence (and it’s wrong, but the law allows it). Hills was a members case! As a consequence, the trial and lower appellate courts were limiting Hills to members cases only and refused to apply Hills to judge alone cases–until–
So goes the post of Rep. Ratcliffe (R-TX).
Similarly, the second portion of my bill addresses enhanced sentences for individuals with prior sex offenses. Our child exploitation laws consistently call for higher sentences when a defendant has a prior conviction for federal or state sex offenses. However, these sentencing provisions do not consistently include all similar sex offense convictions that arise under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). My bill amends those federal child exploitation laws to include all similar child sexual exploitation offenses under the UCMJ in the recidivist provisions, as appropriate.
A Facebook post about military sexual assault training:
“There’s no need to try to understand why sexual assaults are up 550% in the Military. All women have no ability to think after one drink and are not responsible for their actions but a Male soldier is responsible for his actions with one drink. What an insult to women everywhere!! ”
Instructor: “if you sleep with your wife after she’s been drinking you actually just raped her because she is too incapacitated to consent”
“We thus readily conclude that ex parte communications between a military judge and an SVC are generally proscribed.”
Yes, inexplicably, it was necessary for the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (AFCCA) to decide such an issue, as part of deciding what impact, if any, SVC’s ex parte communications had in a trial–a chilling thought.
In United States v. Turner, (an Air Force case) the SVC decided to have a little confab with the military judge before trial, allegedly about administrative matters–until you read the facts.
Packingham v. North Carolina is the case of Lester Packingham, a North Carolina man who became a registered sex offender after he was convicted, at the age of 21, of taking indecent liberties with a minor. Six years after Packingham’s conviction, North Carolina enacted a law that made it a felony for registered sex offenders to access a variety of websites, from Facebook to The New York Times and YouTube. Packingham was convicted of violating this law after a police officer saw a Facebook post in which Packingham celebrated, and gave thanks to God for, the dismissal of a traffic ticket. The justices today agreed to review Packingham’s contention that the law violates the First Amendment.
Issue: Whether, under the court’s First Amendment precedents, a law that makes it a felony for any person on the state’s registry of former sex offenders to “access” a wide array of websites – including Facebook, YouTube, and nytimes.com – that enable communication, expression, and the exchange of information among their users, if the site is “know[n]” to allow minors to have accounts, is permissible, both on its face and as applied to petitioner, who was convicted based on a Facebook post in which he celebrated dismissal of a traffic ticket, declaring “God is Good!”
In Esquivel-Quintana v. Lynch, into an area of law called by Prof. Berman, as “crimmigration” – the intersection of immigration and criminal law. The petitioner in the case, Juan Esquivel-Quintana, was a lawful permanent resident of the United States in 2009, when he was charged with violating a California law that makes it a crime to have sexual relations with someone under the age of 18 when the age difference between the two people involved is more than three years; he had had consensual sex with his 16-year-old girlfriend when he was 20 and 21 years old. The federal government then sought to remove Esquivel-Quintana from the United States on the ground that his conviction constituted the “aggravated felony” of “sexual abuse of a minor.” The lower courts agreed with the federal government, but now the Supreme Court will decide.
32 CFR Part 105 Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program Procedures; Final Rule, of 27 September 2016, 81 FR 66424.
This rule contains amendments to an interim final rule published in the Federal Register on April 11, 2013, which provided guidance and procedures for the SAPR Program. This included establishing the processes and procedures for the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Kit; establishing the multidisciplinary Case Management Group (CMG), providing guidance on how to handle sexual assault; and establishing minimum program standards, training requirements, and requirements for the DoD Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military. This rule adds amendments from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016, which contains a provision that preempts state laws that require disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII) of the adult sexual assault victim or alleged perpetrator to local or state law enforcement. This interim final rule implements this provision with respect to care sought at DoD Installations.
81 FR 66185, of 27 September 2016.
Check the warrant, or in the military the search authorization.
The recent decision of the Army Court of Criminal Appeals in a government appeal tells you why it’s important to check the warrant.
In United States v. Gurzynski, the court had before it a government appeal of a military judge’s decision to suppress evidence of a computer media search.
The NMCCA has issued two significant opinions this week, one of which is worth the read while the United States prosecution of Bowe Bergdahl continues.
United States v. Solis, __ M.J. ___ (N-M Ct. Crim. App. 2016). The case presents discussion of continuing issues relating to the nature of the proof and member (jury) instructions in military sexual assault cases. These types of cases, especially where alcohol is involved present complex challenges to the military defense counsel.
Article 120(b)(3)(A) of the UCMJ is unconstitutional because the language “incapable of consenting to the sexual act because she was impaired by . . . alcohol” is unconstitutionally vague.
Is it an indecent exposure offense under UCMJ art. 120, to show someone a digital picture of your own genitals?
In a published opinion in United States v. Williams, __ M.J. __, No. 20140401 (A. Ct. Crim. App. Mar. 30, 3016), the Army Court of Criminal Appeals split 2-1 in deciding the case. The court holds that the offense of indecent exposure in violation of Article 120(n) (2006) and 120c(c) (2012) does not include showing a person a photograph or digital image of one’s genitalia.
That’s the BLUF.