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NMCCA has an unpublished opinion in United States v. Allen.

“We have written often to urge convening authorities and their staff judge advocates [SJAs] to pay scrupulous attention to detail throughout the post trial process. This case compels us to reiterate that urging yet again.” [1] Unfortunately, this is not a new problem in the military justice system. Citing 35 cases with erroneous Staff Judge Advocate Recommendations [SJARs] in a 15-month period, our sister court stated in United States v. Lindsey, almost 20 years ago:

This case presents the court with yet another incident in which an SJA has failed to provide complete and accurate information to the convening authority, as required by RCM 1106. The regularity of these post-trial processing errors is alarming and occurs in many jurisdictions. Most SJAR errors are the direct result of sloppiness and a lack of attention to detail. . . . Likewise, diligent trial defense counsel should identify and correct such errors whenever possible. These errors reflect poorly on our military justice system and on those individuals who implement that system. They should not occur!

What happened after—trial, CCA review, and in the case below at CAAF. From time to time I find it interesting to follow habeas cases involving a military petitioner. So, here is  Santucci v. Commandant, No. 19-3116-JWL (D.C. Kan. May 26, 2020).

The ACCA decision.

The CAAF decision without opinion, is at 2017 CAAF LEXIS 522 (C.A.A.F. May 4, 2017).

Colonel Rice was arrested for possession and distribution of CP. He was convicted in federal court and at court-martial. That is why we have a CAAF decision in United States v. Rice, __ M.J. ___ (C.A.A.F. May 21, 2020).

I think part of the takeaway here is that the Government can’t charge under Clause (1) or (2) of Article 134 where, if charged under Clause (3) would raise a double jeopardy dismissal. There’s more complexity to the case than that, but . . .

All agree, and we cannot ignore, that double jeopardy would prohibit the successive prosecution of the military charges if the Government had charged these offenses under clause 3 of Article 134, UCMJ, alleging a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A.

You all know that a client gets an automatic appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals when the sentence is for more than one year and/or a punitive discharge.

You all know that a case with a subjurisdictional sentence gets a legal review and can be petitioned to TJAG under Art. 69(b). Also, you should know that a brief can be submitted for the Art. 69(a) review after a GCM (or as some of us do [because of timing] a request for reconsideration).

TJAG acts on legal error only. TJAG does not do a factual sufficiency review.

John E. Reid & Associates agree that more is needed than a simple “I did it.”

The reported interrogations of some of these suspects involved physical coercion, duress and outright torture. While the Supreme Court has consistently prohibited such interrogation practices, evidently the trial courts rejected the defendant’s claim that their confession was false. Traditionally, courts have afforded greater credibility to an investigator’s testimony than that of a defendant anxious to escape punishment. However, because future defense claims of improper interrogation practices may be given more credence, investigators and prosecutors should anticipate greater scrutiny by the courts in admitting confession evidence. The once accepted axiom that no innocent person would confess to a crime has proven to be false. Because of this, the prosecution must demonstrate that a confession is, in fact, trustworthy. The most convincing evidence to demonstrate the truthfulness of a confession is corroboration.

United States v. Martin, ACCA April 2020.

On appeal, Appellant argued that six separate convictions of Art. 107 were UMC under the circumstances, but

Appellant’s UMC claim never gets off the ground. Appellant contends that because the “criminality behind” his Article 107 convictions was not the statements themselves, but rather the fact that appellant made the statements “in order to steal money from the government,” his separate Article 107 convictions represented an unreasonable multiplication of charges.

United States v. Taylor, NMCCA 30 April 2020 is a government appeal of a judge’s ruling to suppress evidence.

[T]he military judge granted a Defense motion to suppress evidence resulting from the searches of 12 of Appellee’s electronic devices. We are asked to decide whether we have jurisdiction over this appeal and, if so, whether the military judge abused his discretion by suppressing this evidence. We conclude that we have jurisdiction and that the military judge did not abuse his discretion. We therefore deny the Government’s appeal.

. . .

GA: Arrest for sex offense wasn’t PC to believe digital storage device on person had evidence; SW suppressed

Defendant was arrested for aggravated child molestation and aggravated sodomy, and he had a digital storage device on him. Police sought a search warrant for the storage device, but the affidavit failed to show any probable cause to believe evidence would be found there. Landers v. State, 2020 Ga. App. LEXIS 254 (Apr. 29, 2020):
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