Mason credit

Overview of the Mason credit (see Pretrial restraint & pretrial confinement in the military):

navylawyers1Mason credit is day for day credit given for pretrial restriction equivalent to confinement. United States v. Mason, 19 M.J. 274 (C.M.A. 1985) (summary disposition). Calculation for credit includes partial day restriction(s) which are tantamount to confinement. United States v. Chapa, 53 M.J. 769 (Army Ct. Crim. App. 2000).

In determining whether conditions of pretrial restriction(s) are tantamount to confinement, the totality of the conditions imposed are taken into consideration. Factors to consider include: limits of the restricted area; physical restraints; escort requirements (occasional v. constant./armed v. unarmed); sign-in requirements; circumstances of duty; assigned duties; degree of privacy; sleeping accommodations; access to visitors, phone, recreational, religious, medical, and educational facilities, civilian clothing and personal property. United States v. Smith, 20 M.J. 528 (A.C.M.R. 1985), petition denied, 21 M.J. 169 (C.M.A. 1985). If the issue is not raised at trial, it is waived and cannot be raised at the appellate level. United States v. King, 58 M.J. 110 (C.A.A.F. 2003). King specifically advises military judges to ask, on the record, whether the accused seeks pretrial confinement credit beyond Allen. Id.

Restrictions Tantamount to Confinement

The following are examples of cases in which the courts have found pretrial restrictions to be tantamount to confinement and awarded Mason credit.

In United States v. Smith, supra, the accused was restricted to the barracks and was prohibited from performing normal duties; leaving the building without permission and without an escort; required to sign in every thirty minutes during non-duty hours, and was ordered to remain in room for 2200 hours. The court found that fifty-six days of this type of restriction was tantamount to confinement.

In United States v. Regan, an officer who repeatedly tested positive for cocaine was given a choice of inpatient drug treatment or pretrial confinement. After opting for inpatient treatment, the Court of Appeals awarded twenty-one days of Mason credit, stating that the conditions of inpatient treatment constituted significant restriction and suffered upon threat of confinement.

Restrictions Not Tantamount to Confinementbestmilitarydefensedefenseattorneys10.03.40PM

The following are examples of cases in which the courts have found pretrial restrictions not to be tantamount to confinement and denied credit.

In Washington v. Greenwald, 20 M.J. 699 (A.C.M.R. 1985) pet. denied 20 M.J. 324 (C.M.A. 1985), the accused was restricted to company area, place of duty, dining facility, and chaplain’s office; performed normal duties; was restricted to room after 2200 hours; signed in every hour when not on duty; and was able to travel on post during duty hours without an escort with permission. The court found that these restrictions were not tantamount to confinement and denied credit.

In United States v. Delano, 2008 WL 5333565 (A.F.Ct.Crim.App), pretrial restriction which included assignment to the “Transition Flight” was held not tantamount to confinement, but implemented to maintain good order and discipline and not as punishment under Article 13, UCMJ.

The CAAF intimated that credit “must be given…for time spent in pretrial confinement in state or federal civilian confinement facilities.” United States v. Ballesteros, 25 M.J. 891 (A.C.M.R. 1988), aff’d, 29 M.J. 14 (C.M.A. 1989). (Case decided on other grounds).

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….. Click the link for more information. Instruction 1325.4 (October 7, 1968): [Latin, Among other things.] A phrase used in Pleading to designate that a particular statute set out therein is only a part of the statute that is relevant to the facts of the lawsuit and not the entire statute. procedures employed by the military services for computation of sentence[s] are to be in conformity with those published by the Department of Justice.

18 U.S.C. Section 3585(b): Credit for Prior Custody.— A defendant shall be given credit toward the service of a term of imprisonment for any time he has spent in official detention prior to the date the sentence commences—(1) as a result of the offense for which the sentence was imposed; or (2) as a result of any other charge for which the defendant was arrested after the commission of the offense for which the sentence was imposed; that has not been credited against another sentence.

Credit for Prior Custody.