United States v. Miller, __ M.J. ____ (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. 2022), is a case exploring who is a "victim" and so who can give a victim impact statement. Did the MJ
abuse his discretion when he permitted, over Defense objection, the mother of a deceased Sailor to make a victim impact statement when Appellant was not found guilty of an offense relating to the deceased Sailor.
The finding of victim status flows from the nature of the criminal conduct. There seems to be a sufficient nexus between what the appellant did and the resulting death of his co-actor.
The circumstances of those offenses involved a joint enterprise between Appellant and FCSR Echo to obtain, purchase, and use heroin together. Appellant bought the drug paraphernalia and provided the needle FCSR Echo used to inject the heroin that ultimately caused his death. As such, we determine that the psychological harm FCSR Echo’s death caused to FCSR Echo’s mother directly arose from the offenses of wrongful drug use and possession of drug paraphernalia of which Appellant was found guilty.
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Army Crim. L. Deskbook