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Sentencing argument

Sentencing argument

Sentencing argument

  1. militarydefenselawyers011Trial counsel argues first, then defense counsel. R.C.M. 1001(a)(1), (g).
  2. The military judge has the discretion to permit rebuttal sentencing arguments. R.C.M. 1001(a)(1)(F), (d).
    1. As a general rule, there is no right of government counsel to present rebuttal argument because the government does not have a burden of proof during presentencing proceedings in non-capital cases.
      United States v. McGee , 30 M.J. 1086 (N.M.C.M.R. 1989). The propriety of permitting such argument is dependent upon the need to address matters newly raised by the defense in its sentencing argument. Id .
  3. Absentgood causethe military judge should not permit departure from the order of argument set forth in R.C.M. 1001(a)(1).
    1. United States v. Budicin , 32 M.J. 795 (N.M.C.M.R. 1990). Military judge erred by allowing trial counsel to argue last but defense counsel waived error by not objecting.
    2. United States v. Martin , 36 M.J. 739 (A.F.C.M.R. 1993). Trial counsel should not be routinely permitted to choose whether to argue first or last on sentencing.