Friday, April 20, 2007

Long shot

I recently saw the movie Shooter. I liked it -- though before you plunk down $8 a ticket on my recommendation, you should know that my taste in movies runs toward "testosterone driven" rather than "artistically inspired." And the hero is a Marine Corps gunny.

The movie is centered around a sniper shot fired a mile from its target. But that's point-blank-range compared to the long shot that showed up on the Supremes' docket today.

If you are still reading this, you probably haven't simply stumbled across this blog while doing a google search for the Rotten Tomatoes gouge on Shooter (48%, by the way). And if you are still reading this, you probably remember our recent discussion about the USCG's inexplicable policy of not allowing Article 32 proceedings to be recorded. (At some other point in the near future I shall rant about military investigation agencies' refusal to record their interrogations.) CAAF denied a writ challenging the USCG Article 32 anti-recording practice, over Judge Erdmann's cogent dissent. United States v. Morton, __ M.J. ___, Misc. No. 07-8009/CG (C.A.A.F. April 4, 2007).

But as much as I think Judge Erdmann was right, seeking further review from the Supreme Court seems like a long shot that even Bob Lee Swagger, Shooter's unlikely named protagonist, wouldn't attempt. Yet that is just what Morton's counsel did. Here is the latest military justice addition to the SCOTUS docket:

No. 06A987
Title: In Re Thomas A. Morton, Applicant

Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
Case Nos.: (07-8009/CG)

~~~Date~~~ ~~~~~~~Proceedings and Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Apr 19 2007 Application (06A987) for a stay pending the filing and disposition of a petition for an extraordinary writ of mandamus or prohibition, submitted to The Chief Justice.

I'm a bit surprised that the denial wasn't posted in conjunction with the application. But we'll keep it in our sights -- just like that Dinty Moore Stew can out in Bob Lee Swagger's woods.

1 comment:

Phil Cave said...

The Air Force also will prohibit. The Army tapes and will give a copy of the tapes; sometimes a transcript. The Navy and Marines tape and you can sometimes get a transcript of "critical" witnesses.

Good news for Air Force and Coast Guard cases is that's unlikely there will be prior testimony that survives a Crawford confrontation challenge, in the event witness become unavailable post-32.

My view is that the AF and CG do that because usually the only beneficiaries are the defense. And of course you know how cynical I am.