The Military Justice Improvement & Increasing Prevention Act was "docketed" with Senate yesterday. The copy we have is undergoing some "administrative" corrections and will be posted as soon as we get it.
United States v. Batissa. A rather short order denying a writ of mandamus that the court order Appellant’s record of trial to be immediately filed with the court.
Will we see more of these?
United States v. McCall, 81 M.J. ___ (N-M Ct. Crim. App. 2021). Appellant pleaded not guilty MJA, and was convicted and sentenced: conspiracy to possess, introduce, and distribute marijuana; absence without leave; violation of a lawful general order by wrongfully possessing drug abuse paraphernalia; wrongful introduction of marijuana with intent to distribute; and wrongful use of marijuana, for which he was reduced to E-1, confined for 19 months, and a bad conduct discharge.
Appellant asserted "eight assignments of error [AOEs], which we renumber as follows: (1) his trial defense counsel were constitutionally ineffective for failing to investigate or move to suppress evidence obtained during the search of Appellant’s off-base apartment[.]
In an opinion published on 19 February 2021, the court "found merit in Appellant’s first AOE and then granted the Government’s motion for reconsideration on this issue." Having considered additional evidence, "we still find merit in Appellant’s first AOE and set aside his conviction for violating a lawful general order by wrongfully possessing drug abuse paraphernalia under Charge II, which moots his second and fifth AOEs[.]"
Note, this case involved CDC, and of course the sentence was still appropriate.
United States v. Pyron. 81 M.J. ___ (N-M Ct. Crim. App. 2021). An officer panel convicted appellant of two specifications of attempted rape of a child, one specification of rape of a child, and four specifications of sexual abuse of a child. He was sentenced to 39 years’ confinement, reduction to E-1, and a dishonorable discharge. "We find prejudicial legal error with regard to Appellant’s first AOE. Specifically, we find that the military judge erred in denying the Defense challenge for cause of Lieutenant [LT] Alpha under the implied bias standard and the liberal grant mandate. Due to our resolution of this AOE, we find the other AOEs moot, and we take action in our decretal paragraph." New trial authorized.
United States v. Kelly. In this GP case appellant was convicted of "violating a lawful general order for failing to register privately-owned firearms he kept in his on-base quarters, wrongful disposition of military property, two specifications of wrongful appropriation of military property, and two specifications of obstruction of justice." He was E-1, eight months, and a BCD. The court specified and agreed with itself on this issue.
"In light of the specific intent required by Article 121(a)(2), UCMJ, is there a substantial basis in law or fact to question Appellant’s guilty plea to wrongful appropriation as alleged in Charge III, Specification 1, where Appellant stated during the providence inquiry that his intent in taking possession of two radios belonging to his unit was to fix and return them in order to “look useful” to the unit? See United States v. Taylor, 44 C.M.R. 274 (C.M.A. 1972); United States v. McGowan, 41 M.J. 406 (C.A.A.F. 1995)."
United States v. Landry. One of the now more frequent coram nobis filings, which I think might be viewed analogous to petitions for a new trial but one on steroids.
On 25 July 2002, Petitioner was found guilty, in accordance with his pleas, of rape and indecent assault.
On 23 November 2004, this Court affirmed the findings and sentence. Petitioner did not seek further review by the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces [CAAF]. On 17 February 2005, a notification of completion of appellate review was sent to Petitioner. He now petitions this Court for extraordinary relief over 15 years later, requesting that we set aside his convictions on grounds of ineffective assistance of his trial and appellate defense counsel. We find he has not met the threshold requirements to consider the merits of his petition.
While accepting jurisdiction, the court notes,
[A] writ of coram nobis generally is available only in those limited, exceptional circumstances where “an error is based upon facts that were not apparent to the court during the original consideration of the case and that may change the result.” A petition for such a writ must meet six “stringent threshold requirements” under United States v. Denedo before we will consider the merits of its claims:
PENDING APPELLATE CASES
United States v. Heard. In this GP case, the appellant was sentenced to 100 days and a BCD for “illegally obtaining a firearm for a younger airman.” And “Less than one month after,” the Airman used the firearm to shoot another Airman and then himself.”
-Current Term Opinions
Joint R. App. Pro.
Global MJ Reform
LOC Mil. Law