Articles Tagged with umcj

In the July Army Lawyer Judge McDonald has some comments based on his first year on the bench.  (I have noted over the years that it takes most judges about a year to get their relative bearing.)   I think we can all echo his comments and find a myriad of examples from our own and other cases.  What I wanted to comment on though was something in the section about keeping track.  If this is not what Judge McDonald does in trial or had not meant to convey then I’ll be the first to apologize, but . . .

I have presided over more than a few judge-alone cases where I have asked more questions than the trial counsel, including asking witnesses about elements that were not covered by the Government.

At page 39 (emphasis added).

The Daily Weekly reports on a Fort Lewis Soldier convicted in civilian court of murder.  The piece that caught my eye was this:

Since the start of the war in Iraq in 2003, there have been at least a dozen slayings on Western Washington soil alone involving active troops or veterans of Iraq. The body count includes seven wives, a girlfriend, and one child; six other children have lost one or both parents to death or imprisonment. Most gruesome was the double slaying by an attractive Fort Lewis soldier, Spc. Ivette Davila, 22, who shot, killed and then poured acid on the faces of Timothy Miller, 27, and Randi Miller, 25, a military couple stationed at the fort, then kidnapped their child.

Army Times reports:

Gannet News While he still vacillates between regret and indignity over what happened in Iraq, he has given up thoughts of going back to retrieve a separate bundle of money that he says he found and buried in the sands — and Army investigators never discovered.

Army Times reports:

Less than two years ago, Earl Coffey stood on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, a broken man, holding his Army uniform, photos and military medals in his hands.

The son of Kentucky coal miners, Coffey had watched his life unravel after his theft of a dictator’s desert treasure became an almost biblical curse — running through his hands like sand, landing him in prison and sending him on a downward spiral of homelessness, divorce and drug addiction.

With nothing left, Coffey tossed the remnants of his 13-year Army career into the surf — and began a long walk home to the Appalachian mountains of Harlan County, Ky. . .

Coffey, 36, has since rebuilt a quiet life among the coal mines that he escaped by joining the Army — only to become one of seven U.S. soldiers convicted in 2003 of “looting and pillaging” for his part in stealing the $586,000 in cash he found in one of Saddam Hussein’s bombed-out Iraqi palaces.

Prof. Colin Miller posts:

Somewhat similar to its federal counterpart, Indiana Rule of Evidence 410 provides in relevant part that

Evidence of a plea of guilty or admission of the charge which was later withdrawn, or a plea of nolo contendere, or of an offer so to plead to the crime charged or any other crime, or of statements made in connection with any of the foregoing withdrawn pleas or offers, is not admissible in any civil or criminal action, case or proceeding against the person who made the plea or offer.

Military.com 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.

On habeas review of state court convictions, the detective’s trial testimony about the statements of two non-testifying co-actors which implicated the defendant in the shooting and which were used to confront the defendant during his interview violated the Confrontation Clause and constituted plain error, in Ray v. Boatwright, _ F.3d _ (No. 08-2825).

Since Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004), testimonial statements are inadmissible under the Confrontation Clause unless the declarant testifies subject to cross examination. There are not many cases in which a Confrontation Clause challenge raised for the first time on appeal may result in plain error. The Seventh Circuit recently identified one case which did.

Moral:  when you go AWOL you can’t keep running if you run out of gas.  As I drive I-95 I often see military convoys.  It had not occurred to me that one or more of the drivers was in the process of going AWOL.image

An Army private is in custody in Daytona Beach for being absent without leave from Fort Stewart in Georgia.

Sean Aaron Johnson was discovered Tuesday after the military Humvee he was driving ran out of gas on the side of Interstate 95.

The Army’s attempt to stem a rising tide of suicides made it impossible for a Fort Bliss soldier convicted of cruelty toward subordinates to get a fair trial, the soldier’s parents say.

"I still maintain that this was a miscarriage of justice," said John Taylor, father of Pvt. Jarrett Taylor. "They needed a conviction and they got it. É This is a sham."

Taylor said his son, a sergeant at the time, was trying to help soldiers on their first deployment in Iraq survive in a combat zone.

FrumForum interviewed retired Major Merideth A. Bucher, author of the much cited paper, The Impact of Pregnancy on U.S. Army Readiness.

Bucher explains that a woman who becomes pregnant ceases to be available for combat service. She will be returned home; her unit is left missing a body, a soldier.

She passionately told of her own experience:  Two days before Desert Storm was to begin the female intelligence officer in the Major’s battalion became aware she was pregnant.  Because she could not deploy and was sent home the battalion was left vulnerable by having to fight without an intelligence officer present. By losing one person everyone else has to work that much harder to get the mission accomplished. And when a woman soldier in particular gets pregnant, Bucher argues, “it weakens every female soldier standing as a member of that unit.  If one woman does that it taints the water for everybody.”