Every now and again I post a post-service case relating to a court-martial. Here is Pacheco v. Commandant USDB. Note this case is in the ‘notorious,’ to military prisoners, 10th Circuit. There are no military appellate decisions to link to: ACCA gave its standard merits denial and CAAF denied.
This matter comes before the court on a petition for habeas corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petitioner, a prisoner at the United States Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, seeks habeas corpus relief on the ground that he received ineffective assistance of counsel during court-martial proceedings.
From time to time a military appellant will raise an issue at CAAF that the CCA did not properly consider their claims of error, as evidenced by the summary merits affirmance. CAAF has not granted on such a claim. Here is the Fed. Dist. Ct. for Kansas on the one line denials.
Generally, an issue is considered to have been given "full and fair consideration" when it has been briefed and argued, even if the military court summarily disposes of the matter. Id. at 997;Watson v. McCotter, 782 F.2d 143, 145 (10th Cir.), cert. denied, 476 U.S. 1184 (1986). The fact that the military court did not specifically address the issue in a written opinion does not establish that an issue was not given appropriate consideration. Lips, 997 F.2d at 812, n. 2. Rather, "when an issue is briefed and argued" before a military court, "the military tribunal has given the claim fair consideration, even though its opinion summarily disposed of the issue with the mere statement that it did not find the issue meritorious or requiring discussion." Id., citingWatson, 782 F.2d at 145. . . .
[I]t is apparent both that the claim of ineffective assistance was exhausted in the military courts and that it was briefed under the correct legal standard, namely, Strickland v. Washington. Finally, the military appellate courts entered summary dispositions reflecting their consideration of the materials submitted by the petitioner and affirmed the decision of the court-martial. This is adequate to demonstrate full and fair consideration. Watson, 782 F.2d at 145.
Here is what Watson has to say.
When a military decision has dealt "fully and fairly" with an allegation raised in a habeas petition, "it is not open to a federal civil court to grant the writ simply to reevaluate the evidence." Burns v. Wilson, 346 U.S. 137, 142, 73 S.Ct. 1045, 1048, 97 L.Ed. 1508 (1953) (plurality opinion). . . .
Although there has been inconsistency among the circuits on the proper amount of deference due the military courts and the interpretation and weight to be given the "full and fair consideration" standard of Burns, this circuit has consistently granted broad deference to the military in civilian collateral review of court-martial convictions (citations omitted). . . .
When an issue is briefed and argued before a military board of review, we have held that the military tribunal has given the claim fair consideration, even though its opinion summarily disposed of the issue with the mere statement that it did not consider the issue meritorious or requiring discussion. . . . .