Introduction

bestmilitarydefenseucmjdefenselawyer162In the military, the law of self-incrimination embraces Article 31, UCMJ; the Fifth Amendment; the Sixth Amendment; and, the voluntariness doctrine. Each source of law provides unique protections, triggered by distinct events. When analyzing a self-incrimination issue, therefore, it is imperative to categorize the analysis. First, determine the relevant source or sources of law in issue. Next, evaluate the situation and decide if the protections afforded under each particular source of law have been triggered. If protections have been triggered, determine if there has been a violation of those protections. Typically, a challenge to a confession involves more than one source of self-incrimination law, and several steps of analysis. The confession or admission is admissible when the rights afforded under each source of applicable law have been observed.