Appellant gets relief because the Government didn’t provide evidence that was favorable to him prior to his guilty plea at his court-martial.
In Brady v. Maryland in 1963, the Supreme Court ruled that if the prosecution fails to reveal material evidence favorable to the accused prior to his trial, a due process violation has occurred, regardless of whether the prosecution did it on purpose or not. When this occurs today, we refer to it as a “Brady violation.” This month, the Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA) found that the Government committed a “Brady violation” in United States v. Hawkins. In Hawkins, the appellant had pled guilty to the wrongful manufacture of methamphetamine (“meth”) because he purchased pseudoephedrine for his Soldier roommate knowing that the Soldier was going to use it to make “meth.” While he was in confinement, the appellant came across the other Soldier, who revealed to him that while he had attempted to make “meth,” he had not actually been successful and that during his court-martial he was only found guilty of an “attempt” crime. Prior to appellant’s trial, the other Soldier had an Article 32 hearing where it was revealed that the Soldier was not successful in making “meth.” The Government failed to provide this evidence to appellant’s defense counsel even though it was material and favorable to him. Appellant appealed his conviction of wrongful manufacture of “meth” based on this “Brady violation” and was successful in getting his conviction changed to the lesser “attempt” offense. If you believe that the Government withheld or is currently withholding material and favorable evidence in your court-martial, call me now. I can help you both at the court-martial level and in your court-martial appeal. To speak to an experienced court-martial and military defense attorney, call Bill Cassara at 706-860-5769 for a free consultation.