Here is a link to the CAAF annual report—1 October 2019 to 30 September 2020.
United States v. Carter. Appellant was convicted of various drug offenses. The court agreed with Appellant that the military judge should have merged several specifications for sentencing, but not his claim regarding denial of his post-trial request on forfeitures or post-trial processing delay. They reassessed the sentence and approved the adjudged sentence of 10 months, BCD, TF, and RIR2E1.
United States v. Mitchell. On appeal Appellant claimed post-trial delay credit, that his trial defense counsel were ineffective in two respects, and the sentence was inappropriate. ADC provided an affidavit explaining the difficulties (which we all have from time to time) of negotiating a "reasonable" stipulation. The ADC balanced the ability to get sentence limits against having uncharged misconduct in the stipulation--they kept Appellant informed throughout, he reviewed the stipulation, had no objection; and he signed it. Findings and sentence affirmed.
IN THE NEWS--PENDING OR POTENTIAL APPELLATE CASES
Task & Purpose reports that Chief DeD. will plead guilty to various charges. Several others involved in the case have already pleaded guilty and at least one will be eligible for an Article 66, UCMJ, review. DeD and several special operators allegedly broke into the bedroom of Army Staff Sgt. LM on June 4, 2017, in Bamako, Mali and restrained him with duct tape. M later died of asphyxiation. Prosecutors alleged DeD strangled him with a chokehold and later lied to Army and Navy investigators about what transpired.
Air Force Times reports, that the commander of the 316th MSS, Andrews, will face court-martial in March for sexual assault. Note, the offense happened in 2019 and the investigation began quite quickly. Other reporting suggests there are three specifications involving rape and sexual assault.
The NDAA veto having been overridden, look for changes to Articles 6b, 66, 67, 140a.
Review amendments.--The amendments made by subsections (b) and (c) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply with respect to any case in which every finding of guilty entered into the record under section 860c of title 10, United States Code (article 60c of the Uniform Code of Military Justice), is for an offense that occurred on or after that date.
Courts-martial of retirees is a current topic. So, what do we think of The Matter of Michael Flynn? Steve Levin discusses that in JDSupra.
The Air Force will now track more details of administrative discipline actions. "Lesser disciplinary actions are defined as an adverse administrative discipline, to include administrative counseling, admonishments and reprimands. Data demographics that will be tracked are rank, age, gender, race and ethnicity of Airmen and Guardians who issue and receive the discipline."
Orin S. Kerr, The Fourth Amendment Limits of Internet Content Preservation. Kerr argues that the current process of law enforcement sending a preservation notice without probable cause is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Compare with CPT E. B. Murphy, Using RCM 703A to Build a Better Case. ARMY LAWYER, No. 4, 2020.
Andrea Nishi, Ortiz and the Problem of Interbranch Litigation. 120 COLUMBIA L. REV. 118 (2020).
Notice, US pardons for Blackwater guards an “affront to justice” – UN experts. United Nations Office of Human Rights. 1 January 2021. Note, there is intersection here with military justice when the pardon relates to alleged "war crimes." Under international law there is a principal of command responsibility for the actions of their troops and under what circumstances can the commander be also held accountable for the acts of those troops. The same can apply to political leaders, although the answer to the question is not always clear. And certainly, there doesn't seem to be a clear answer as to clemency actions after a conviction. One of the ways a country or leaders can avoid responsibility is to have an effective system of justice to hold offenders accountable. This is a simplistic explanation and I'll leave you to read more on it.
Stephanie R. Williams, More Support for Oxford, or Serial, Commas. Appellate Advocacy Blog, 2 January 2021.
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