The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) recently upheld an Army trial judge's dismissal - with prejudice - of a sexual assault court-martial due to repeated discovery violations by the military prosecutor. Here is an analysis of the case on the blog CAAFlog:
At this point over the years, I have posted countless stories about the military justice system and how misguided politicians and advocates are seeking to destroy the fairness of the system by making changes to the system, and threatening more changes, if "trends and statistics" don't change to their liking - meaning predetermined prosecution oriented outcomes in alleged rape and sexual assault cases (UCMJ Article 120).
In this oppressive environment, the defense relies, more than ever, on prosecutors and trial judges to be immune from this improper pressure and to ensure the military justice system is fair. In this Stellato case, it appears the military trial judge did just that, but trial counsel apparently wasn't equal to the task. I wonder what Sen Gillibrand, Sen McCaskill, Rep. Speier, and others who spew their ignorance about the military justice system would think about this appellate decision? Was this, in their eyes, a necessary and sound decision to uphold the integrity of a criminal justice system and the Constitutional rights of an accused...or is this one more indication the military system is "broken" because a defense motion was granted and this sexual assault case didn't result in conviction and harsh sentence?
We are practicing during a very dangerous chapter in the history of the military justice system...
Civilian criminal defense lawyer and military defense lawyer
Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.