19 September 2007

Continuance for New Counsel

In a well-written and well-analyzed opinion, the Army Court of Criminal Appeals sustains the military judge's decision to deny a continuance in a murder case so that civilian counsel, a former military judge, could be read into the case. United States v. Lucero, No. 20020869 (A. Ct. Crim. App. Sep. 17, 2007).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Court certainly went to a lot of pains to distinguish the case from Wiest, however I see a number of similarities to Wiest that might well set this case up for CAAF cert grant and reversal. True, the appellant waited, but the wait seemed driven by financial restraints.

Arguably, the witness availability profer by the government seems to have gone unchallenged by the defense. Absent a date-certain for the retrial, it seems as if the government's claims of unavailability are speculative.

Nevertheless, the prejudice to the government might well tip the scale at CAAF. So, too, might the strength of the evidence in the case (which, given the other granted issues in Wiest, seemed less than concrete).

I'd still expect CAAF review of this case.