Friday, August 17, 2007

Is materiality of the falsehood an element of fraudulent enlistment?

In Holbrook, a young man gained entry into the Coast Guard by lying about his preservice drug use. On appeal of his fraudulent enlistment conviction, he argued that he could be found guilty only if he knew that had he told the truth, he would have been barred from enlisting. In a decision we discussed here, the Coast Guard Court disagreed. Now CAAF has decided to review this issue: "WHETHER APPELLANT'S PLEA TO FRAUDULENT ENLISTMENT (CHARGE I) WAS IMPROVIDENT BECAUSE THE MILITARY JUDGE FAILED TO ELICIT FACTS SUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH THAT APPELLANT KNEW HE LIED ABOUT A MATERIAL FACT RELEVANT TO HIS QUALIFICATIONS FOR ENLISTMENT." United States v. Holbrook, __ M.J. ___, No. 07-0350/CG (C.A.A.F. Aug. 16, 2007).

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