Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pointless publication?

The Army Court has posted a new published opinion on its web site. United States v. Crudup, __ M.J. ___, No. ARMY 20050112 (A. Ct. Crim. App. Jan. 18, 2008).

Crudup appears to stand for two propositions. First, that under a factual scenario almost identical to the Hammon v. Indiana half of Davis v. Washington, 126 S. Ct. 2266, 2274 (2006), a domestic violence victim's statements to police officers identifying the accused as the perpetrator of an already completed battery are testimonial. Of course we didn't need ACCA to tell us that because, as ACCCA itself notes, the Supremes already have. See Crudup, No. ARMY 20050112, slip op. at 5.

The second proposition is that under the particular factual scenario of this case, the error was harmless. It's hard to see how that will be particularly helpful to Army trial judges facing Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004), issues in other cases. So why did ACCA publish Crudup? I'm stumped. Theories?

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