Articles Posted in Speedy trial

Have you been convicted at court-martial? Want a speedy review of your case for appeal?

There are two major roadblocks: (1) having the record of trial delivered to and docketed with the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, or Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals and  (2) the workload of the military appellate defense counsel. The roadblocks are, in my opinion, the Service Judge Advocate General’s fault in not assigning enough people to complete post-trial actions or work on the appeal promptly.

Immediately after the trial, there has to be a formal Entry of Judgment–which usually takes 30-45 days to complete. Then, the Government must prepare a full trial record forwarded to the appellate court and the military appellate defense lawyers who will work on the appeal. Here is where most of the delay can happen. These records take time to prepare–and too often, the Government takes an unreasonably long to do this. Records can take six to two years to get to the appellate court before the appellate defense counsel can get to work, and a decision comes from the court. We have a case right now where it took 412 days. The Navy-Marine Corps just decided on a case that took about ten years.

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