Articles Posted in Uncategorized

Haven’t seen this come up for a while.

An individual can “abandon his rank and position of authority in dealing with a subordinate by his own misconduct.” United States v. Richardson, 7 M.J. 320 (C.M.A. 1979) (citing United States v. Noriega, 7 C.M.A 196 (C.M.A. 1956)).

The Government argues that the defense of abandonment of rank only applies to offenses against commissioned officers and does not apply to offenses against noncommissioned officers. The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and several Service courts, including this one, have held, at least implicitly, that abandonment of rank is a defense to disrespect or disobedience to a noncommissioned officer. See, e.g., United States v. Diggs, 52 M.J. 251, 256-57 (C.A.A.F. 2000); United States v. Sanders, 41 M.J. 485, 486-87 (C.A.A.F. 1995); United States v. Vallenthine, 2 M.J. 1170 (N.C.M.R. 1975); United States v. Revels, 41 C.M.R. 475 (A.C.M.R. 1969); United States v. McDaniel, 7 M.J. 522, 523 (A.C.M.R. 1979); United States v. Taylor, 30 M.J. 882 (A.F.C.M.R. 1990).

The Pentagon has launched a new program that aims to find serial sex offenders in the military by compiling information into a database submitted by sexual-assault survivors.

The program, called Catch a Serial Offender, or Catch, allows survivors of sexual assault who are submitting a restricted report to provide information confidentially about the sexual assault incident as well as the accused offender to military investigators so they can try to identify serial offenders, according to the Pentagon announcement released Monday.

It looks like CAAF is ready to give us their interpretation and applications of MIL. R. EVID. 801(d)(1)(B)(i) AND 801(d)(1)(B)(ii). Yesterday, CAAF granted in the following cases.

No. 20-0006/NA. U.S. v. Matthew D. Norwood. CCA 201800038. 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:


You have heard me speak of secondary gain; a term used by psychologists which we lawyers call motive to lie. There are several motives to lie, United States v. Wetuski, AFCCA, presents two–to get out of trouble and to get an expedited transfer.

Given the timing of A1C ME’s removal from military justice and the closeout of her LOR, trial defense counsel attempted to show A1C ME had motive to misrepresent her accusations against Appellant. In trial defense counsel’s view, A1C ME was dissatisfied with her current situation in the Malmstrom AFB legal office and needed an expedited transfer to get a fresh start and the way to do that was to accuse Appellant of sexual assault. Several members of the legal office testified that they heard A1C ME say once, in the months before her accusations against Appellant, that a group of female Airmen who lived in the dormitories at Malmstrom AFB knew what they needed to say and to do to get an expedited transfer. One of those witnesses explicitly stated that what needed to be done was “you have to have an unrestricted sexual assault report and see the [Sexual Assault Response Coordinator].” This witness opined that

this was “not very” hard. Members of the legal office believed there was an increase in outgoing expedited transfers from Malmstrom AFB during the winter of 2016–2017.

No. 19-0467/AR. U.S. v. Charles E. Robinson III. CCA 20170536. On consideration of the petition for grant of review of the decision of the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals, we note that the sentence affirmed by the lower court appears not to conform to the terms of the pretrial agreement. In accordance with C.A.A.F. Rule 30A, it is appropriate for the Court of Criminal Appeals to consider this issue initially. Accordingly, it is ordered that said petition is granted on the following specified issue:


The decision of the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals is affirmed as to findings but set aside as to sentence. The case is returned to the Judge Advocate General for remand to the Court of Criminal Appeals for further review under Article 66, Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), 10 U.S.C. § 866 (2012). Thereafter, Article 67, UCMJ, 10 U.S.C. § 867 (2012) shall apply.

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.

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