Counsel may comment on the evidence in the case, including inferences to be drawn from the evidence. R.C.M. 919(b). Findings Argument (Art and Law)
- Counsel may comment on the testimony, conduct, motives, and evidence of malice of witnesses to the extent supported by the evidence. R.C.M. 919(b) discussion.
- Counsel may argue as though the testimony of their witnesses conclusively established the facts related by them. R.C.M. 919(b) discussion.
- Counsel may not argue facts not in evidence.
United States v. Nelson
, 1 M.J. 235 (C.M.A. 1975) (It is error for counsel to include inadmissible hearsay in findings argument).
- Counsel may not argue irrelevant matters. M.R.E. 401, 402, 403. But see United States v. Jefferson , 22 M.J. 315 (C.M.A. 1986) (defense counsel should have been permitted to inform members of mandatory minimum life sentence to impress seriousness of offense upon them).
- Counsel may not argue evidence beyond its limited purpose. United States v. Sterling , 34 M.J. 1248 (A.C.M.R. 1992). Accused was charged with two specifications of use of cocaine based on two positive urinalysis tests. Trial counsel improperly argued that one test corroborated the other.