You could have this

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.

Probation officers work for the court, for judges — not for the defense or the prosecution, Conrad said.

Any facts the probation officer turns up are supposed to be in the report shared with the defendant and the lawyers, Conrad said. The sentencing recommendation is supposed to be the probation officer’s interpretation of the facts.

People accused of a crime have a constitutional right to face their accusers, but that’s at trial, for a judgment of guilt or innocence, Conrad said.

Remember, CAAF has held that the Sixth Amendment right to confrontation does not apply at sentencing, but that Fifth Amendment due process does.  See United States v. McDonald, 55 M.J. 173 (C.A.A.F. 2001). 

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