Thursday, May 29, 2008

Link to new published NMCCA en banc decision

Here's a link to United States v. Abdirahman, __ M.J. ___, No. NMCCA 200401082 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. May 19, 2008) (en banc). I won't have a chance to comment on it tonight, but I will over the weekend unless someone beats me to it.


Anonymous said...

Whoa. A refersal of findings and sentence. Not bad for an appellate court which adds "no value" to the appellate process according to some. Assuming that "value" equals relief.

CAAFlog said...

For this to reflect added value, three things must be true:

(1) the Judge Advocate General won't certify the case to CAAF, since if it does CAAF would be the decisionmaker under either the status quo or the reform proposal;

(2) if the JAG doesn't certify the case and CAAF had been the decisionmaker initially instead of NMCCA, it would have reached a different conclusion; and

(3) if CAAF was the initial decisionmaker and reached a different conclusion than NMCCA, NMCCA's decision is better than the decision CAAF would have reached.

I find it extremely unlikely that all three of those conditions would be satisfied. And I don't believe that whatever the odds are that I'm wrong justify the added time and expense that the military justice system and the military services incur by having five military appellate courts instead of one.

John O'Connor said...

While I'm an agnostic on the notion of getting rid of the CCAs, let me say that I do not share the view that "value equals relief," mostly for the reasons set forth in CAAFlog's paragraph 3.