Tuesday, July 10, 2007

You can't hide your lyin' eyes

ACCA today released a lengthy opinion exploring defense counsel's responsibilities when they believe that their client is about to lie on the stand. United States v. Baker, __ M.J. ___, No. ARMY 9800743 (A. Ct. Crim. App. July 10, 2007). In the wake of a remand from CAAF, United States v. Baker, 58 M.J. 380 (C.A.A.F. 2003), and two DuBay hearings, ACCA concluded that the trial defense counsel's performance wasn't perfect but wasn't IAC, either. ACCA noted that the accused was actually acquitted of some of the specifications about which he testified falsely. "Ironically, therefore, appellant's perjured testimony resulted in no prejudice to him -- it actually inured to his benefit." Id., slip op. at 15. While summer funning more than two decades ago, I was involved in a case that involved this very delicate issue. Baker provides a good primer to anyone who finds himself or herself confronted with such a conundrum.

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