Wednesday, January 14, 2009

CAAF posts opinion in Brown

CAAF unanimously holds that sex can be an "advantage" for purposes of an extortion conviction. United States v. Brown, __ M.J. ___, No. 08-0261/AR (C.A.A.F. Jan. 14, 2009). Chief Judge Effron wrote the opinion of the court.


Mike "No Man" Navarre said...

If CAAFlog doesn't post tonight, I have some definite thoughts I will post tomorrow. The summary portion of the opinion should always be the clearest, yet I can't understand the distinction. Maybe my Blackberry version of the opinion is acrewy, but what does this mean:

Here, in
addition to alleging that Appellant sought to have PFC RA engage
in an act against her will, the specification further alleged
that Appellant intended to obtain an advantage through her
participation with him in sexual relations. As such, the
specification did not rely solely, or “by itself,” on an
allegation that Appellation sought to have her engage in an act
against her will.


Anonymous said...

I agree. At first blush it appears somewhat ridiculous. I have a hard time thinking of a fact pattern where the accused is attempting to coerce the victim to engage in an act against the victim's will, that does not result in some advantage for the accused. What would be the purpose of the extortion?

However, it appears that we are to read the opinion not as a legal sufficiency opinion, but one that is about drafting of the charges as it relates to Presidential guidance found in the MCM. The MCM does say that "[u]nless it is clear from the circumstances, the advantage or immunity sought should be described in the specification. An intent to make a person do an act against that person's will is not, by itself, sufficient to constitute extortion." Thus, it looks like CAAF was focused on whether the specification adequately described the advantage sought consistent with the MCM guidance.