United States v. Harris, 65 M.J. 594 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. 2007), is a weird opinion in a weird case that we previously discussed here.
The primary issue below was whether civilian police officer coerced a civilian witness into recanting a statement that was favorable to the accused. The case also raised a Confrontation Clause challenge to admitting a drug lab report and a post-trial delay claim. Petty Officer Harris now has a petition pending before CAAF which has generated some interesting appellate discovery.
On 25 September, CAAF issue the following order in the case:
On consideration of Appellant's motion to attach documents from the record to Appellant's supplement to the petition for grant of review and motion to compel documents to support Appellant's supplement to the petition for grant of review, it is, ordered that Appellant's motion to attach documents is granted, and Appellant's motion to compel documents is granted. Appellee will file these documents with the Court under seal, along with any proposed protective order that Appellee considers appropriate for the Court to consider prior to releasing these documents to Appellant.
United States v. Harris, __ M.J. ___, No. 07-0385/NA (C.A.A.F. Sept. 25, 2007). Interesting enough, but on Monday it became even more intriguing:
On consideration of Appellee's Response to the Court Order of September 25, 2007, and Appellant's Reply, it is ordered that the entire file of the Administrative Law Division of Judge Advocate General of the Navy, submitted under seal by Appellee on October 4, 2007, will be maintained under seal in the Office of the Clerk of the Court. Appellant and his appellate defense counsel may examine this file at the Clerk's office and may take notes, but may not reproduce any of the documents or disseminate the information contained therein.
United States v. Harris, __ M.J. ___, No. 07-0385/NA (C.A.A.F. Nov. 19, 2007).
It's not apparent to me what the topic of the appellate discovery is, though my guess is it has to do with reports of misconduct at one or more Navy drug labs. Can one of our naval readers fill us in on what's going on?