United States v. Specialist JARRELL D. SPEIGHT ( 2015 )

                             TOZZI, CAMPANELLA, and CELTNIEKS
                                    Appellate Military Judges
                                UNITED STATES, Appellee
                             Specialist JARRELL D. SPEIGHT
                              United States Army, Appellant
                                        ARMY 20130837
                         Headquarters, United States Army Alaska
                               Robert Cohen, Military Judge
                  Colonel Tyler J. Harder, Staff Judge Advocate (pretrial)
               Colonel Eric L. Christiansen, Staff Judge Advocate (post-trial)
    For Appellant: Colonel Kevin Boyle, JA; Major Amy E. Nieman, JA; Captain
    Payum Doroodian, JA (on brief).
    For Appellee: Major A.G Courie III, JA; Major Daniel D. Derner, JA; Major Daniel
    M. Goldberg, JA (on brief).
                                           22 July 2015
                                    SUMMARY DISPOSITION
    TOZZI, Senior Judge:
           A military judge sitting as a general court-martial convicted appellant,
    pursuant to his plea, of absence without leave in violation of Article 86 Uniform
    Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. §§ 886 (2006) [hereinafter UCMJ]. The military
    judge sentenced appellant to a bad-conduct discharge, confinement for four months,
    forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and reduction to the grade of E-1. The
    convening authority approved the sentence as adjudged. The appellant received one
    day of sentence credit.
           This case is before us for review pursuant to Article 66, UCMJ. In his sole
    assignment of error, appellant asks this court to provide appropriate relief to remedy
    the dilatory post-trial processing of his case. We agree that relief is appropriate and
    grant thirty days confinement credit.
    SPEIGHT—ARMY 20130837
                                 LAW AND DISCUSSION
            The convening authority took action 434 days after the sentence was
    adjudged, 379 of which are attributable to the government. The record in this case
    consists of one volume, and the trial transcript is 87 pages. Although we find no due
    process violation in the post-trial processing of appellant’s case, we must still
    review the appropriateness of the sentence in light of the unjustified dilatory post-
    trial processing. UCMJ art. 66(c); United States v. Tardif, 
    57 M.J. 219
    , 224
    (C.A.A.F. 2002) (“[Pursuant to Article 66(c), UCMJ, service courts are] required to
    determine what findings and sentence ‘should be approved,’ based on all the facts
    and circumstances reflected in the record, including the unexplained and
    unreasonable post-trial delay”). See generally United States v. Toohey, 
    63 M.J. 353
    362-63 (C.A.A.F. 2006); United States v. Ney, 
    68 M.J. 613
    , 617 (Army Ct. Crim.
    App. 2010); United States v. Collazo, 
    53 M.J. 721
    , 727 (Army Ct. Crim. App. 2000).
    It took 139 days to transcribe the record in this case, and 126 days for the Staff
    Judge Advocate to sign the recommendation after receipt of the authenticated record
    of trial. The government provided an explanation in its post-trial submissions for
    this delay, citing a backlog of cases and short staffing of court reporters. Despite
    this explanation, relief is appropriate as the delay between announcement of
    sentence and action could “adversely affect the public’s perception of the fairness
    and integrity of the military justice system . . . .” Ney, 68 M.J. at 617.
           Upon consideration of the entire record, the findings of guilty are
    AFFIRMED. Given the dilatory post-trial processing, however, we affirm only so
    much of the sentence as provides for a bad-conduct discharge, confinement for three
    months, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and reduction to the grade of E-1. All
    rights, privileges, and property, of which appellant has been deprived by virtue of
    that portion of his sentence set aside by this decision, are ordered restored. See
    UCMJ arts. 58b(c), and 75(a).
          Judge CAMPANELLA and Judge CELTNIEKS, concur.
                                            FOR THE
                                                THE COURT:
                                           MALCOLM H.
                                           MALCOLM       H. SQUIRES,
                                                             SQUIRES, JR.
                                           Clerk of
                                           Clerk  of Court

Document Info

DocketNumber: ARMY 20130837

Filed Date: 7/22/2015

Precedential Status: Non-Precedential

Modified Date: 7/23/2015