Articles Posted in Uncategorized

Eve Brensike Primus, Disaggregating Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Doctrine: Four Forms of Constitutional Ineffectiveness. 72 STANDFORD L. REV. x (2020).

For years, experts have blamed Strickland v. Washington’s lax standard for assessing trial attorney effectiveness for many of the criminal justice system’s problems. But the conventional understanding of Strickland as a problem for ineffectiveness claims gives Strickland too much prominence, because it treats Strickland as the test for all such claims. That is a mistake. Properly understood, the Supreme Court has recognized four different constitutional forms of trial attorney ineffectiveness, and Strickland’s two-pronged test applies to only one of the four. If litigants and courts would notice the complexity and relegate Strickland to its proper place, it would pave the way for meritorious ineffectiveness claims of the other three kinds. This Article disaggregates strands of Sixth Amendment doctrine that others have jumbled together so as to enable courts and litigants to confine Strickland to its proper domain and use more appropriate analyses elsewhere.

The Article also explains why additional disaggregation is necessary within the category of cases where Strickland rightly applies. Implicitly, the Supreme Court has created not one but three tests for assessing deficient performance within that domain, and it has indicated a willingness to soften the outcome-determinative prejudice prong as well. Failure to recognize these different forms of Strickland ineffectiveness has made the test seem much harder for defendants to satisfy than needs to be true. Recognizing these complexities, and applying the right test in the right case, is necessary if individual defendants are to be treated fairly and systemic constitutional problems in the provision of indigent defense services are to be addressed.

Anyone raising a UCI motion must be familiar with the Third Army cases and those that follow.

United States v. Thomas, 22 MJ 388 (C.M.A. 1986)cert. denied479 U.S. 1085 (1987)see also United States v. Levite, 25 MJ 334 (C.M.A. 1987).

Checkout United States v. Newbold, 45 M.J. 109 (C.A.A.F. 1996).

A British article worth reading because it has application here. Akorede Omotayo, The Right to Silence – or the presumption of Guilt

The right to silence is thought by many Judges and academics to be a constitutional right; which preserves Viscount Sankey’s presumption of innocence in Woolmington . For this reason, the legislative changes to a defendant’s right to silence, brought about by sections 34-38 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1984, represented one of the most controversial reforms of English criminal law in the last century.

Prior to the CJPOA, no evidential significance could be attached to an accused’s exercise of the right to silent, save when the accused and the victim were on even terms.  However, the provisions in the CJPOA, particularly ss 34-35 have sought to alter this principle to the extent that the question that this article grapples with, is whether the right to silence, despite the changes, is still useful in protecting an accused’s supposed ‘constitutional right’ of innocence, until proven guilty.

United States v. Scott., ordering a Dubay hearing. I could not find a subsequent opinion on the ACCA website, which could mean the Dubay hearing produced nothing noteworthy and the court proceeded to affirm the findings and sentence.

CAAF has granted the following issue:

No. 19-0365/AR. U.S. v. Jason A. Scott. CCA 20170242. On consideration of the petition for grant of review of the decision of the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals, it is ordered that said petition is granted on the following issue:

Kate Judson knows too well that science and criminal justice can often be at odds.

After working as a public defender in New Mexico, the attorney spent seven years with the Innocence Network consulting on child abuse cases involving shaken baby syndrome. For years, the diagnosis had been used to support allegations of abuse, but Judson debunked those allegations with research indicating those diagnoses are often incorrect.

Now, Judson is the executive director of the Center for Integrity in Forensic Sciences, a new nonprofit co-founded by former Wisconsin Innocence Project director Keith Findley and the lawyers Dean Strang and Jerome Buting, well-known for their defense of Steven Avery in the Netflix docuseries “Making a Murderer.” Judson now educates lawyers, courts and the public on the ways forensic science can be less than scientific — from the flimsy foundations of bite-mark science, to the inconsistencies and error rates of fingerprint analysis and hair comparisons.

On Wednesday the CAAF granted:

No. 19-0411/AR. U.S. v. Norman L. Clark, Sr. CCA 20170023. On consideration of the petition for grant of review of the decision of the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals, it is ordered that said petition is granted on the following issues:

I. DID THE MILITARY JUDGE ERR IN APPLYING R.C.M. 914?

No. 19-0376/MC. U.S. v. R. Bronson Watkins. CCA 201700246. On consideration of the petition for grant of review of the decision of the United States Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, it is ordered that said petition is granted on the following issues:

  1. A CONFLICT OF INTEREST EXISTS WHERE THE INTERESTS OF AN ATTORNEY AND DEFENDANT DIVERGE ON A MATERIAL FACTUAL OR LEGAL ISSUE, OR A COURSE OF ACTION. THREATS BY REGIONAL TRIAL COUNSEL AND A REGIONAL TRIAL INVESTIGATOR TOWARDS CIVILIAN DEFENSE COUNSEL CREATED A CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN CIVILIAN COUNSEL AND APPELLANT. DID THE MILITARY JUDGE ERR IN DENYING CIVILIAN COUNSEL’S MOTION TO WITHDRAW?
  2. THE SIXTH AMENDMENT GUARANTEES AN ACCUSED THE RIGHT TO RETAIN COUNSEL OF HIS OWN CHOOSING. BEFORE TRIAL, AND AFTER HIS CIVILIAN COUNSEL MOVED TO WITHDRAW—CITING A PERCEIVED CONFLICT OF INTEREST—APPELLANT ASKED TO RELEASE HIS CIVILIAN COUNSEL AND HIRE A DIFFERENT COUNSEL. DID THE MILITARY JUDGE ERR BY DENYING THIS REQUEST?
Contact Information