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)

  1. militarydefenselawyers008Counsel 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.
  2. Counsel may argue as though the testimony of their witnesses conclusively established the facts related by them. R.C.M. 919(b) discussion.
  3. 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).
  4. 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).
  5. 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.