Information on optional/additional contents for pretrial advice:
“The pretrial advice should include, when appropriate: a brief summary of the evidence; discussion of significant aggravating, extenuating, or mitigating factors; any previous recommendations by commanders or others who have forwarded the charges, for disposition of the case.” RCM 406(b) Discussion.
- The word “Optional” is key – failure to include optional information is not error.
- Matters included in the Pretrial Advice MUST BE ACCURATE.
- In a capital case, the pretrial advice should give notice of aggravating factors prior to arraignment per RCM 1004(b)(1) and (c).
- Practice Tip: While there may be times when additional comments are warranted, make certain those additional comments contain accurate information. Additionally, make certain those comments will not serve to disqualify the SJA from delivering post-trial recommendations. (This is explained later in the outline).