On Monday, May 9, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. EDT, Global Military Justice Reform will hold a Town Hall to discuss the case of Major General William T. Cooley, USAF, recently convicted of forcibly kissing his sister-in-law. He was sentenced to a reprimand and forfeiture of $54,550.
Here is the link: Monday, May 9⋅9:00 – 10:30am
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Meeting ID: 835 5574 1918
The record of trial in Appellant’s case is returned to the Chief Trial Judge, Air Force Trial Judiciary, for correction under R.C.M. 1112(d) to account for the missing audio of the closed session of court, missing Appellate Exhibit VI, and any other portion of the record that is determined to be missing or defective hereafter, after consultation with the parties.
The record of trial in Appellant’s case is returned to the Chief Trial Judge, Air Force Trial Judiciary, for correction under R.C.M. 1112(d) to account for the complete and correct version of Prosecution Exhibit 9, complete version of Appellate Exhibit LIX, and any other portion of the record that is determined to be missing or defective hereafter, after consultation with the parties.
We received a comment that,
Requiring a search authorization to be limited to seizing evidence of only a specific crime seems inconsistent with established caselaw. An authorization to search a residence for a missing person allows the investigators to look anywhere in the residence that a person could be hidden, but allows them to seize any evidence of any crime that they find as long as they find that evidence in a place that a person could be (ie in a closet, not a desk drawer). This ruling is basically saying 'ignore the corpses of dead children, you are only allowed to seize evidence of drug possession' This is a huge change.
Update: The alleged assault took place in New Mexico. It does not appear that the acts of which he was convicted are a sex crime in New Mexico. It would appear that assault and battery is the most similar offense. It is a misdemeanor (petty) for which the maximum punishment appears to be a $500.00 plus up to six months confinement and with up to six months probation.
Update: Sentenced to reprimand and a little over $10K x five. Betting at CAAFlog was three months forfeiture of pay and the reprimand.
Air Force Times is reporting that MG Cooley has been convicted, by military judge alone.
After about five hours of deliberation Friday and an overnight break, Jimenez — the chief circuit military judge with the Air Force Trial Judiciary, Western Circuit, at Travis Air Force Base, California — ruled Cooley is guilty of forcibly kissing the woman, the first specification in a single charge of abusive sexual contact. He is not guilty of two other specifications of groping her and moving her hand to touch his genitals over his clothes, she said.
Former Army officer AV2 was allegedly sexually assaulted by Master Sergeant Clinton Murray and is a witness in Murray's upcoming military court trial. The military judge overseeing Murray's case ruled that certain communications between AV2 and a Department of Veterans Affairs psychotherapist were not protected from disclosure under the Military Rules of Evidence. AV2 sought relief in the two military appellate courts, but both affirmed the military judge's ruling.
Update of sorts from Military.com.
Unit commanders in the Navy and Marine Corps will no longer have investigative authority over sexual harassment allegations, according to a department-wide message sent Friday by Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro.
During the Conference over the NDAA FY 22, sexual harassment was removed from the list of covered offenses under the jurisdiction of a special trial counsel (STC). But, the President was tasked to enumerate an offense of sexual harassment under UCMJ art. 134. The President did so (along with other changes) in Executive Order 14062, of January 26, 2022, Annex at 21.
Well, a press release from Congresswoman Jackie Speier tells us some change may be on the way.
Today, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), Chair of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personal and Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, and Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), were joined by Representatives Veronica Escobar (D-TX), Troy Balderson (R-OH), Sylvia Garica (D-TX), Tony Gonzales (R-TX), and Anthony Brown (D-MD), in introducing the Sexual Harassment Independent Investigations and Prosecutions (SHIIP) Act to remove sexual harassment from the military chain of command. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Chair of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower, is introducing her companion legislation today as well, which marks the two-year anniversary of the murder of Army SPC Vanessa Guillén.
Here is a link to the SHIP Act.
Hat tip to GMJR.
On April 28, 2022, the Government fired its opening salvo in its UCMJ art. 62 appeal of the military judge's ruling. NMCCA Rule 20(c)(B) requires a defense response within 20 days. First a refresher on the ruling and then the filing.
United States v. Nelson. The introduction.
We granted review to determine whether the military judge erred when he concluded that Appellant voluntarily provided his cell phone’s passcode to law enforcement. We hold that under the totality of the circumstances, Appellant did voluntarily provide his passcode and thus the military judge did not abuse his discretion in denying a defense motion to suppress incriminating evidence derived from Appellant’s cell phone. We therefore affirm the judgment of the United States Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA).
We granted review on the following issue: Did the military judge and the court below err in finding that Appellant voluntarily provided his smart phone passcode to law enforcement when the law enforcement official conducting the interrogation asserted that he possessed a search authorization for the phone and Appellant only provided his passcode because Appellant believed he had “no choice?”
In denying relief, the court addressed a number of factors in a de novo review of the totality of the circumstances and the military judge's findings. See Slip op. at 4; and
Appellant makes two main arguments. First, Appellant avers that his entry of the passcode was involuntary because he merely acquiesced to a claim of authority. However, we note that the Fourth Amendment consent cases that Appellant cites in support of his claim are not on point. . . . Appellant next argues that his refusal to consent to a search of his phone five times “is direct evidence that he did not voluntarily provide his phone’s passcode.” However, we are not persuaded that, standing alone, five refusals to consent to a search make a subsequent entry and provision of a passcode involuntary. Key to our analysis here is the military judge’s factual findings that the investigator used a professional tone at all times and did not engage in threats, abuse, or coercion.
I just received a response to a FOIA request I submitted about a year ago: "All Article 138 Complaints by prisoner at USDB Fort Leavenworth from November 01, 2010 to November 01, 2020." Below is the 300+ page response, which I post for the benefit of researchers interested in the legal claims being submitted in military prisons.
NIMJ’s Laura Dickinson, Still at War: The Forever War Legal Paradigm in Afghanistan. Just Security, April 14, 2022.
The U.S. legal posture towards Afghanistan, therefore, holds ongoing significance. Specifically, we need to ask the question: Does the United States still consider itself to be waging a forever war against terrorist groups in Afghanistan?
Disclaimer: Posts are the authors' personal views and do not reflect the position of any organization or government agency.
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Joint R. App. Pro.