Taking Defense Counsel to Task

The issue raised here should resonate with civilian and military practitioners alike. Here is an appellate court that refuses to mince words.

The Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces (CAAF) granted in U.S. v. Callwood, 11-0431/AR, on this issue (and one other):

WHETHER APPELLANT WAS DENIED HIS SIXTH AMENDMENT RIGHT TO EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL, WHERE HIS TRIAL DEFENSE COUNSEL’S ACTIONS DURING THE PRETRIAL HEARING LED DIRECTLY TO APPELLANT’S CONVICTION OF ADDITIONAL CHARGES AND SPECIFICATIONS, AND WHERE HIS TRIAL DEFENSE COUNSEL FAILED AT TRIAL TO CALL TWO WITNESSES WHO WOULD HAVE UNDERMINED THE CREDIBILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT’S KEY WITNESSES.

Additionally, the following was ordered:

The decision of the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals is set aside.  The record of trial is returned to the Judge Advocate General of the Army for remand to that court for further appellate inquiry and consideration on the granted and specified issues.  The Court of Criminal Appeals will obtain affidavits from the civilian and military trial defense counsel relating to the assigned issue.  If the court, after reviewing the affidavits, determines that a fact-finding hearing is necessary, see United States v. Ginn, 47 M.J. 238 (C.A.A.F. 1997), that court shall order a hearing pursuant to United States v. DuBay, 17 C.M.A. 147, 37 C.M.R. 411 (1967).  Once the necessary information is obtained, the court will conduct its Article 66(c), UCMJ, review. Thereafter, Article 67, UCMJ, shall apply.

Reading this is painful, and I have no idea who tried this case. From the wording, it appears that Callwood had both military and civilian representation at court-martial.

H/T to CAAFlog

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