Wednesday, January 21, 2009

CAAF releases opinion in Goodin

CAAF today released its opinion in United States v. Goodin, __ M.J. ___, No. 08-0355/AF (C.A.A.F. Jan. 21, 2009). Chief Judge Effron wrote for a unanimous court.

While CAAF granted review to examine the permissibility of admitting evidence of the accused's legal pornography use and sexual habits with his wife, CAAF chose not to resolve the granted issue. The court ruled instead that any error was harmless under the four-step prejudice test of United States v. Kerr, 51 M.J. 401(C.A.A.F. 1999). Accordingly, Goodin is unlikely to have any impact beyond the affirmance of the findings and sentence in SSgt Goodin's case.


Mike "No Man" Navarre said...

Anyone want to speculate why the Judges side stepped the granted issue? Anyone who was at oral argument see anything to indicate an inability to reach consensus, or where the judges were headed at that time? The granted issue just seems like one that will repeat itself.

Dew_Process said...

I'm with No Man on this.

Another "Harmless Error" wimp-out. Of what professional assistance is an Appellate Opinion, on the merits, when it a) fails to explain WHY they didn't rule on the granted issue; and b) explain just HOW the error was harmless, since it had been objected to at trial, thus presumably prejudicial?

A good way to reduce appellate litigation is to write opinions that practitioners and lower courts can apply as "precedent."