Supreme Court debating whether to review Behenna 2nd degree murder conviction

Supreme Court debating whether to review Behenna 2nd degree murder conviction

The Supreme Court has extended their time to consider whether or not to grant certiorari in the case of Behenna v. United States. The issues at bar are whether the trial judge's instruction to the jury on self-defense was erroneous and harmful, and whether the prosecution failed to disclose favorable evidence to the defense, in accordance with the Brady rule.

A divided CAAF held 3-2 that the trial judge did issue erroneous jury instructions, but that the error was harmless; furthermore, the court held that while there may have been some information withheld by the prosecution, the information withheld substantially overlapped with the evidence presented, and thus was immaterial in regards to the findings and sentencing.

CAAF found that while the judge's instruction on escalation of force concerning self-defense was erroneous, there was no evidence raising the issue of escalation, and the error was thus inconsequential.

This should prove to be an interesting case, if heard by SCOTUS. This is the only officer I could find that had been charged with murder in a combat zone since the Global War on Terror began. The Supreme Court's new deadline for a response to certiorari is February 27th.

United States v. Behenna 71 M.J. 228 (C.A.A.F. 2012)

Categories: Supreme Court
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