Articles Tagged with sentence

United States v. Filmore.

1. If a victim testifies on sentencing–the rules of evidence apply the same as any other witness. Article 6b does not waive the rules of evidence when a victim testifies in sentencing. (Note, the victim gave both sworn and unsworn statements.) Failure to follow the rules (even without defense objection) gets the defense and government, and court to agree there was an error and to get a new sentencing hearing.[1]

2. It is NEVER EVER a good idea for an accused (or one of his witnesses)[2] to impeach the verdict. Gone are the days when we could legally seek reconsideration of the findings, even through sentencing. The legitimate tactic at the time was to present the accused’s version of events through his unsworn and then argue that the members may wish to reconsider the findings.

The Inspector Rutledge detective stories are a favorite of mine.  To quote an Amazon review:

[T]he books are set in the period just after the First World War, and Inspector Rutledge is a veteran of said conflict. Even more unique, he’s haunted by the ghost of one of his subordinates, a corporal whom Rutledge had to shoot and kill after the man panicked and tried to run away during a battle. The dead man doesn’t blame Rutledge for the incident, not exactly anyway, and serves as a sort of alter ego for Rutledge. You’re never entirely certain whether Hamish MacLeod’s ghost is really there, or merely a figment of Rutledge’s imagination, given that he was horribly scarred psychologically by the war.

Hamish talks to the inspector and is often quicker to spot a problem, an inconsistency, or a wrong – “b’ware” he’ll say, or sometimes just “’ware.”

For all of the criticisms of military justice and the UCMJ, you don’t have this at court-martial as tipped by Sentencing Law & Policy blog.

Cargill, a federal public defender, was perturbed by a rarely discussed U.S. court rule that critics say conflicts with the presumption of judicial openness.  In the Western District of Virginia, as in many other U.S. court districts, a probation officer makes a secret sentencing recommendation to the judge.  Cargill accidentally saw the probation officer’s recommendation for his client.  The report was "misleading and inaccurate," Cargill wrote in a protest letter.  (Emphasis added.)

Here is a link to the full article in the Roanoke (VA) Times.

Here is an new grant from CAAF.

No. 10-0494/AF. U.S. v. Caleb B. BEATY. CCA 37478. Review granted on the following issue:


In United States v. Eslinger, __ M.J. ___ (A. Ct. Crim. App. 14 May 2010), the court has set out a useful reminder in two areas:  a military judge’s duty to instruct on all issues and the potential problem of defense waiver of instructions, and how to handle testimony that an accused does or doesn’t have rehabilitative potential.

1.  Instructions

A military judge has a sua sponte duty to give certain instructions when reasonably raised by the evidence, even in the absence of a request by the parties. United States v. McDonald, 57 M.J. 18, 20 (C.A.A.F. 2002) (citing R.C.M. 920(e)). Mistake of fact is a special defense that a military judge must instruct court members on sua sponte if reasonably raised by evidence. R.C.M. 916(j); R.C.M. 920(e)(3). Waiver does not apply based on the mere failure to request the affirmative defense instruction or to object to its omission. United States v. Taylor, 26 M.J. 127, 128-29 (C.M.A. 1988). However, the defense can make a knowing waiver of a reasonably raised affirmative defense. United States v. Guitterez, 64 M.J. 374, 376 (C.A.A.F. 2007) (citing United States v. Barnes, 39 M.J. 230, 233 (C.M.A. 1994)). For a waiver to be effective, it must be clearly established that appellant intentionally relinquished a known right. See United States v. Harcrow, 66 M.J. 154, 157 (C.A.A.F. 2008) (citations and quotations omitted). reports that:

Both the Montgomery and Post 9/11 GI Bills are worth over $49,000. This money is not a loan and will help you cover the costs of getting a degree. Full-time students receive up to $1,368 a month no matter how much tuition costs. The Post 9/11 GI Bill may even give you a monthly housing stipend of $1,200.

Should military veterans get a break when they are sentenced for crimes?

Asks a piece in the Wall Street Journal.  This is interesting in light of some discussion on CAAFLog about sentencing in court-martial and sentence ranges under the UCMJ.  Seems some civilian judges are more interested in giving a sentence based on the whole person and individualized rather than  a set amount.

“We dump all kinds of money to get soldiers over there and train them to kill, but we don’t do anything to reintegrate them into our society,” says John L. Kane, a federal judge in Denver.

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