Articles Tagged with UCMJ

Federal Evidence Review references:

In conspiracy and arson trial, reversing and remanding when trial court failed "to make adequate inquiries regarding news stories" that appeared during deliberations and their impact on juror’s deliberations; the judge erroneously failed to explore "whether any juror heard any of the information" and its impact on the jury, in United States v. Waters, __ F.3d __ (9th Cir. Sept. 15, 2010) (No. 08-30222)

The Ninth Circuit recently considered the trial court’s responsibilities to make specific inquiry of jurors when "adverse publicity occurs during deliberations" of the jury. The case can help clear up confusion about the role of the trial court, particularly in light of FRE 606(b) limiting inquiry into a verdict.

I happened to have business at MDW today so I stopped by to take LTC Lakin’s pulse for his upcoming court-martial and watch today’s Article 39(a), UCMJ, session.

The writ was denied today.  A straight line standard denial [thanks to CAAFLog for a copy].

1.  Mr. Jensen was excused from further participation in the case at the specific affirmative consent of LTC Lakin, because he’d been “discharged.”  See R.C.M. 506(c).

Today the court will hear oral argument in Premo v. Moore, a case with potential ramifications for court-martials.  Courtesy of SCOTUSBlog here is a summary:

The Sixth Amendment secures a criminal defendant’s right to effective assistance of counsel.  Under Strickland v. Washington (1984), that right is violated when a lawyer’s performance falls below an objective standard of reasonableness, resulting in prejudice to the defendant.  Counsel’s representation is prejudicial when there is a reasonable probability that, but for the lawyer’s deficiencies, the proceeding would have ended differently.  Some defendants accept a plea bargain and then argue that their counsel was ineffective; in those cases, Hill v. Lockhart (1985) instructs a court to ask whether there is a reasonable probability that the defendant would have gone to trial had his counsel been constitutionally adequate.  When the Court hears argument tomorrow in Premo v. Moore (09-658), it will attempt to clarify how Strickland and Hill apply to plea deals that are made after counsel fails to suppress an unconstitutionally obtained confession.

For those who want to go right to the papers here is the SCOTUSBlog page.

Huffington Post has this piece about PMC’s and the UCMJ.

It is common to complain that the while the use of private military contractors (PMC) has grown rapidly in the past decade, the legal apparatus to hold them accountable has failed to keep pace. But that is not as true as it once was. In fact, there are at least four distinct sources of criminal law that can hold contractors accountable for their actions: (1) international law, (2) host-nation law, (3) U.S. civilian law, and (4) U.S. military law. Of course, all of these have their own limitations and problems, such as jurisdiction and applicability.

But military law, at least for the U.S., the world’s biggest consumer of PMC services, military law shows increased promise.

In a court-martial under the court-martial UCMJ setting, can a PTA bind the prosecution/convening authority to something he or she has no control over — generally the conditions of confinement.  There’s a teachable moment here for the court-martial practitioner.

Air Force Times reports:

The attorney for a former al-Qaida cook said Monday that the government did not deliver on a promise that led him to plead guilty to supporting terrorism, and she said that could discourage other inmates at Guantanamo from reaching deals with prosecutors.

Inside Bay Area has a piece about corruption in the California National Guard.

From 1986 until her retirement last year, Jaffe’s job with the California Army National Guard was to give away money — the federally subsidized student-loan repayments and cash bonuses — paid for by federal taxpayers nationwide — that the Guard is supposed to use to attract new recruits and encourage Guard members to re-enlist.

Instead, according to a Guard auditor turned federal whistle-blower, as much as $100 million has gone to soldiers who didn’t qualify for the incentives, including some who got tens of thousands of dollars more than the program allows.

Thanks to CrimProfBlog here is a link to an interesting post on Grits for Breakfast, with potential for relevance in a court-martial tried under the UCMJ, with examiners from USACIL and DCFL, etc.

There was an astonishing moment yesterday at a breakout session on fingerprint examination at theTexas Forensic Science Seminar, at which Department of Public Safety fingerprint examiner Bryan Strong (who seemed like a really nice guy so I hate to pick on him) was describing how his division implemented the ACEV method of fingerprint examination in ways that may violate the state and prosecutors’ obligations under Brady v. Maryland.

blah, blah.

SCOTUSBlog notes two new petitions with potential impact on a court-martial practice under the UCMJ.

Title: NIBCO, Inc. v. Rivera
Docket: 10-383
Issue(s): (1) Whether a court of appeals must conduct a comparative juror analysis when reviewing a claim under Batson v. Kentucky, even though the comparative analysis was neither raised before nor considered by the trial court below; and (2) whether a court of appeals that identifies a suspected Batson problem based on a comparative juror analysis never considered by the trial court can vitiate a trial without remanding to allow the trial court to consider the new arguments and evidence in the first instance.

Title: Dunn v. Louisiana
Docket: 10-386
Issue(s): Whether a court’s modification of the three-step Batson v. Kentucky analysis, requiring the defense to prove that its strikes were not motivated by race, while simultaneously requiring it to prove that the state’s strikes were motivated by race, violates the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments.

The other day I had posted about the unauthorized release of the Stryker Brigade Article 32 report and a Coast Guard report on the San Diego Bay incident.  My question at the time was an appearing trend of unauthorized releases of Article 32, UCMJ, investigation reports.  There is more on the Stryker Brigade case.

The News Tribune reports:

Col. Thomas Molloy found that Spc. Jeremy Morlock should be held accountable for any actions he might have committed. Molloy noted that Morlock was viewed by fellow soldiers “as an effective, reliable, engaged team leader,” rather than the picture painted by defense attorneys of a prescription drug-impaired soldier who was bullied by his squad leader.

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