Control of argument by the military judge

  1. uscourtmartiallawyers111The military judge may exercise reasonable control over argument, R.C.M. 801(a)(3).
  2. A military judge may restrict argument to reasonable limits in the exercise of sound discretion. However, the military judge may not arbitrarily limit the defense counsel’s argument. United States v. Dock , 20 M.J. 556 (A.C.M.R. 1985).
  3. Remedies for improper argument.
    1. Military judge can sua sponte stop the argument. United States v. Nelson , 1 M.J. 235 (C.M.A. 1975); United States v. Grady , 15 M.J. 275 (C.M.A. 1983).
    2. Military judge can give a curative instruction. United States v. Carpenter , 29 C.M.R. 234 (C.M.A. 1960); United States v. Horn , 9 M.J. 429 (C.M.A 1980).
    3. Military judge can require a retraction from counsel. United States v. Lackey , 25 C.M.R. 222 (C.M.A. 1958).
    4. Military judge can declare a mistrial. United States v. O’Neal , 36 C.M.R. 189 (C.M.A. 1966); United States v. McPhaul , 22 M.J. 808 (A.C.M.R. 1986). Sentencing Argument (Art and Law)
    5. Counsel must cease argument once military judge rules on issue in question. United States v. Warnock , 34 M.J. 567 (A.C.M.R. 1991).

Remedies for improper argument.

Military judge can declare a mistrial.