Monday, January 19, 2015

Interesting statistic from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

United States Court of Appeals
for the Armed Forces,
Washington, D.C.
Over at CAAFlog, we find a link to a 10-point proposal for reform of American military justice procedure by Colonel James A. Young, USAF (Ret). From the discussion of the eighth recommendation, relating to the appellate process, we learn that appellate defense counsel identified issues in only 40% of the cases submitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces on petition for discretionary review in FY2013. In 21% of the 776 cases in which complete petitions (i.e., those with supplements) were filed, neither counsel nor the appellant identified an issue, and in the remaining 39%, the appellant but not counsel identified a Grostefon issue. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the court may grant review "on good cause shown," a provision it has long (and, in the editor's opinion, incorrectly) read to permit it to rummage for issues on its own. Col. Young observes in a footnote that when Congress authorized good-cause review "it is unlikely its members envisioned a court that would review records of trial in cases in which neither the accused nor counsel could find an error to allege."

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