Army Court Reverses Conviction – ACCA Opinion U.S. v. Hannah

We are thrilled to report that the Army Court of Criminal Appeals set aside and dismissed our client’s convictions for two specifications of sexual assault.  We argued that the military judge improperly created the appearance of bias in favor of the government because of her inappropriate conduct toward our client’s trial defense counsel.  The military judge interrupted, criticized, and berated the defense counsel throughout the trial.  She gave the government lawyers extra time to perfect their case but denied our client and his attorneys a recess to meet with his expert consultant.  The judge’s conduct shocked many of the trial observers, including the escorts and bailiffs, all of whom wrote letters describing the judge’s inappropriate behavior and expressing their concerns that our client did not receive a fair trial.  The Army Court agreed with us that the military judge made numerous errors.  More importantly, the Army Court agreed with us that the military judge’s conduct created an intolerable risk of undermining public confidence in the military justice system.  

The government has informed us that they will not appeal the Army Court’s decision and we expect our client to be released from confinement soon. We are so happy for our client and his family.  This case demonstrates that military judges must ensure that an accused receives a fair trial.

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