Thursday, January 18, 2007

New published Army decision

ACCA's opinion in the case of United States v. Rios, __ M.J. ___, No. ARMY 20020231 (A. Ct. Crim. App. 18 Jan. 2007), is available here. ACCA holds that the military judge abused his discretion by denying the members panel’s request to review the testimony of two witnesses, the alleged 15-year-old rape victim and her treating physician. But ACCA concluded that the error caused no prejudice. On the contrary, ACCA observed, "Rather than prejudicing appellant," refusing to reread the testimony of the prosecution's two strongest witnesses "may have actually benefited appellant." Slip op. at 6. ACCA speculated that the refusal to reread the testimony may have contributed to Rios's acquittal on a forcible sodomy charge.

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