Friday, June 26, 2009

CAAF opinion alert

CAAF has released its opinion in United States v. Chatfield, __ M.J. __, No. 08-0615/NA (C.A.A.F. June 26, 2009). The opinion is available here.


Mike "No Man" Navarre said...

Can anyone even speculate why CAAF granted that legal sufficiency issue? Kudos to 7:02:24 PM Kadlec on getting a grant, it must have been a persuasive Supp.

Anonymous said...


Cloudesley Shovell said...

No Man--

My guess is that CAAF granted because the facts of the case present a common scenario in military courts--commanders "helping out" the civilian police in their investigations.

I think Judge Ryan telegraphed the Court's unease with the case by highlighting on page one of the opinion that the Court was constrained by the facts "as found by the military judge" since they were "not clearly erroneous."

In other words, another judge with the exact same scenario could have reached slightly different factual conclusions and very properly have found that the statement was involuntary and inadmissible.

I also suspect that if Chatfield had been BM3 Chatfield instead of LT Chatfield, the result might have been different.

Phil Cave said...

I agree with the Admiral, that if this were BM3 Chatfield the result might be different.
The opinion seems to be a fair result.
I think it was helpful that the MJ included some discussion of his evaluation of the appellant's credibility.
I'm not sure there was any "unease" by Judge Ryan. I do agree though that how the military usually "invites" someone to go to CID/OSI/NCIS, or to a civilian interview can be coercive enough and be sufficient to establish "custody." I always argue that point in suppression motions when the First Sergeant or a senior supervisor tells the person to go with them, and they end up at LE.