Compared to Amnesia

bestmilitarydefenseucmjdefenselawyer250Amnesia is not equivalent to a lack of capacity. “An inability to remember about thecrime itself does not necessarily make a person incompetent to stand trial.” Lee , 22 M.J. at 769; s ee also United States v. Barreto , 57 M.J. 127 (C.A.A.F. 2002). The ability of an accused to function is absolutely critical to the fairness of a criminal trial. In deciding whether an accused can function, a military judge can apply factors set out in Wilson v. United States , 391 F.2d 460 (D.C. Cir. 1968): (1) the extent to which the amnesia affects the accused’s ability to consult and assist his lawyer; (2) the extent to which the amnesia affects the accused’s ability to testify on his own behalf; (3) the extent to which the evidence could be extrinsically reconstructed, in view of the accused’s amnesia; (4) the extent to which the Government assisted the accused and defense counsel in reconstruction; (5) the strength of the Government case; and, (6) any other facts and circumstances that would indicate whether the accused had a fair trial.

  • United States v. Axelson , 65 M.J. 501 (A. Ct. Crim. App. 2007). A failure to recallfacts pertaining to an offense does not preclude an accused from pleading guilty so long as, after assessing the Government’s evidence against him, he is convicted of his own guilt.