Misprision of a Serious Offense. MCM, pt. IV, 95; UCMJ art. 134

  1. test1 134 (Side 134)Elements.
    1. That a certain serious offense was committed by a certain person;
    2. That the accused knew that the said person had committed the serious offense;
    3. That, thereafter, the accused concealed the serious offense and failed to make it known to civilian or military authorities as soon as possible;
    4. That the concealing was wrongful; and
    5. That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of the good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.
  2. Taking affirmative steps to conceal the identity of the offender constitutes misprision;conviction of misprision of serious offense does not violate Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. United States v. Sanchez , 51 M.J. 165 (C.A.A.F. 1999) (accused took affirmative steps to conceal the identity of the offender).
  3. See supra , II.D, ch. 1, for a discussion of differences between Misprision of aSerious Offense and Accessory After the Fact.

Lesser Included Offenses and Multiplicity. If properly pleaded, communicating a threat maybe a lesser included offense of obstruction of justice. United States v. Benavides , 43 M.J. 723 (Army Ct. Crim. App. 1995) (relying on “pleading elements” analysis of United States v. Weymouth , 43 M.J. 329, 340 (1995)); United States v. Craft , 44 C.M.R. 664 (A.C.M.R. 1971). But see United States v. Oatney , 41 M.J. 619 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. 1994) (relying on strict “statutory elements” analysis of United States v. Teters , 37 M.J. 370 (C.M.A. 1993), the Navy- Marine Court held that communication of a threat and obstruction of justice are not multiplicious, even in a particular case where the threat factually must be proved in order to prove the obstruction of justice), aff’d, 45 M.J. 185 (C.A.A.F. 1996)

Navy- Marine Court

Obstructing Justice