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of the party in the specification, and in the finding or sentence.

24. Where, in the case of a capital sentence, the concurrence thereon of two-thirds of the members of the court does not appear from the record.

25. Where the proceedings are not authenticated by the signature of both the president and judge-advocate.

When proceedings are not signed by the president of the court, and the court is dissolved, the sentence is, wholly invalid, and the order approving it must be revoked.

The record of a trial by a military court is furthermore, incomplete and insufficient where the reviewing officer fails to state his “ decisions and orders ” at the end of the proceedings. And it is not sufficient to state such decisions, etc., at the end of a series of cases passed upon by the same reviewing officer; it must be stated independently at the end of each case. To annex a copy of the general order promulgating the proceedings to a collection of records is not deemed a compliance with the law.

Defects not Fatal. The following defects, though they are to be avoided, would not render the finding or sentence invalid :

1. Where the record does not show that a member who was challenged withdrew during deliberations on the challenge.

2. Where it does not show that the court was closed for deliberation on points arising during the trial.

3. Where it does not show that a witness was for the prosecution or defense.

4. Where it does not contain a note of the close of the prosecution.

5. Where it discloses the vote on the findings or sentence.

Letter A. G. O., Feb. 7, 1874.

6. Where the record does not show that proceedings were read to court.

7. Where the record stated that there was a finding of guilty on the second charge and specification when the prisoner was only arraigned upon one.

Endorsement. Every record of the proceedings of a military court should be endorsed on the first fold' by the judge-advocate or recorder of such court, with name of the place where the court is held ; the date when the proceedings were signed"; the designation of the order convening the court; the names of the presiding officer, judgeadvocate, and of the prisoner tried, according to a prescribed form.2&3

· Legal cap paper should be folded in four equal folds parallel with the writing. The left hand fold of the outer page is the first fold.

? G. 0. 29, A. G. O. March 18, 1871. 3 For Form see Appendix.

CHAPTER XVII.

BUREAU OF MILITARY JUSTICE, JUDGE-ADVO

CATE'S CORPS, AND DUTIES OF JUDGE-AD-
VOCATES.

By the act of June 20th, 1864, a Bureau of Military Justice was established to exist during the continuance of the rebellion. This was afterwards made permanent and exists as part of the Military peace establishment of the United States.

Organization. By the act of June 23d, 1874, the Bureau of Military Justice is to consist of a Judge-Advocate General, and the law also provides for a certain number of Judge-Advocates of the Army with the rank of Majors of Cavalry. Duties of Judge-Advocate General.

The JudgeAdvocate General is to receive, revise, report upon, and cause to be recorded the proceedings of all courts-martial, courts of inquiry, and military commissions, and perform such other duties as have been performed by the JudgeAdvocate General of the army.?

All communications pertaining to questions of military justice, or to the proceedings of military courts and commissions, throughout the armies of the United States, must be addressed to the Judge-Advocate General, and commanding officers are enjoined to furnish promptly to the Bureau of Military Justice all proceedings of courts-martial, military commissions, and courts of inquiry, together with the orders promulgating decisions thereon.

1 Revised Statutes, S 1200. • Ibid, $ 1199. • G. 0. 270, A. G. O. 1864.

Such report as the Judge-Advocate General may make on cases requiring the action of the President will be addressed to the Secretary of War, and forwarded, through the Commanding General of the army, for such remarks and recommendations, as he may desire to make.

He reports at once for the action of the Secretary of War, illegal and unusual punishments, and all fatal irregularities. But when a case has been disposed of, it cannot be reopened without instructions from the President.

Duties of Judge-Advocates of the Army. The Judge Advocates of the Army are stationed at the headquarters of divisions and departments, serving with officers having power to convene general courts-martial. Their duties are to supervise charges forwarded for trial, and to review and report upon such proceedings of military courts as may be submitted to them by the commander.

They are required to forward to the Judge-Advocate General at the end of each month a list of all cases tried and to be tried within their jurisdiction.?

A Judge-Advocate on duty at division or department headquarters is liable to detail by the commanding officer, as judge-advocate of a general court-martial, court of inquiry, or military commission.

Judge-Advocates of Courts-Martial. Officers who may appoint a court-martial are competent to appoint a judge-advocate for the same ;4 and without such judgeadvocate a general court-martial is not regarded a legal court."

1 G. 0. 39, A. G. O., 1877. ? G. 0. 270, A. G. O., 1864.
3 Decision Adjutant General, Aug. 11, 1870. 4 Article 74.

6 The power of appointing judge-advocates is restricted to general courtsmartial in the Articles of War recently proposed.

The law does not say who may be appointed as judge-advocates, and cases have occurred in our service where civilians have acted in this capacity. While there is no law or army regulation precluding the appointment of judge-advocates from civil life, the usage of the service and of the government is opposed to the employment of civil judge-advocates, except in special cases requiring in the prosecuting officer such legal knowledge and experience as are not often found in a military man. As a rule, therefore, he should be an officer of the army.

He must be appointed as such by the authority convening the court-martial; the mere fact that he is the Judge-Advocate of the department would not authorize him to take any part in the proceedings unless formally detailed.

The court cannot appoint a judge-advocate, nor can it authorize or empower its junior member to act as such during the absence of the regular judge-advocate, or when he has been relieved without a successor being appointed in his place, and when one is so appointed and acts temporarily, the proceedings are irregular and the sentence void.?

Even the convening authority cannot authorize one of the members of a court to act as the judge-advocate, without formally relieving him as a member and appointing him as judge-advocate. Where a reviewing authority reconvened a court for revision of sentence, and added in the order,—“Should the judge-advocate be prevented from attending, the junior member of the court will act in his stead,” it was held, the junior member so acting, that the proceedings upon the reassembling of the court were void in law.

The convening officer cannot detail a single officer to
Opinions J. A. G. p. 207.

Opinions J. A. G.,

1

9 Ibid.

3

p.

206.

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