Control of argument by the military judge

Control of argument by the military judge

Control of argument by the military judge

  1. militarydefenselawyers013The military judge may exercise reasonable control over argument, R.C.M. 801(a)(3).
  2. A military judge may restrict argument to reasonable limits in the exercise of sound discretion. However, the military judge may not arbitrarily limit the defense counsel’s argument.
    United States v. Dock
    , 20 M.J. 556 (A.C.M.R. 1985).
  3. Remedies for improper argument.
    1. Military judge can sua sponte stop the argument.
      United States v. Nelson
      , 1 M.J. 235 (C.M.A. 1975);
      United States v. Grady
      , 15 M.J. 275 (C.M.A. 1983).
    2. Military judge can give a curative instruction.
      United States v. Carpenter
      , 29 C.M.R. 234 (C.M.A. 1960);
      United States v. Horn
      , 9 M.J. 429 (C.M.A 1980).
    3. Military judge can require a retraction from counsel.
      United States v. Lackey
      , 25 C.M.R. 222 (C.M.A. 1958).
    4. Military judge can declare a mistrial.
      United States v. O’Neal
      , 36 C.M.R. 189 (C.M.A. 1966);
      United States v. McPhaul
      , 22 M.J. 808 (A.C.M.R. 1986). Findings Argument (Art and Law)
    5. Counsel must cease argument once military judge rules on issue in question.
      United States v. Warnock
      , 34 M.J. 567 (A.C.M.R. 1991).