[USC02] 10 USC Subtitle A, PART II, CHAPTER 47A, SUBCHAPTER IV: TRIAL PROCEDURE
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10 USC Subtitle A, PART II, CHAPTER 47A, SUBCHAPTER IV: TRIAL PROCEDURE
From Title 10—ARMED FORCESSubtitle A—General Military LawPART II—PERSONNELCHAPTER 47A—MILITARY COMMISSIONS

SUBCHAPTER IV—TRIAL PROCEDURE

Sec.
949a.
Rules.
949b.
Unlawfully influencing action of military commission and United States Court of Military Commission Review.
949c.
Duties of trial counsel and defense counsel.
949d.
Sessions.
949e.
Continuances.
949f.
Challenges.
949g.
Oaths.
949h.
Former jeopardy.
949i.
Pleas of the accused.
949j.
Opportunity to obtain witnesses and other evidence.
949k.
Defense of lack of mental responsibility.
949l.
Voting and rulings.
949m.
Number of votes required.
949n.
Military commission to announce action.
949o.
Record of trial.

        

§949a. Rules

(a) Procedures and Rules of Evidence.—Pretrial, trial, and post-trial procedures, including elements and modes of proof, for cases triable by military commission under this chapter may be prescribed by the Secretary of Defense. Such procedures may not be contrary to or inconsistent with this chapter. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter or chapter 47 of this title, the procedures and rules of evidence applicable in trials by general courts-martial of the United States shall apply in trials by military commission under this chapter.

(b) Exceptions.—(1) In trials by military commission under this chapter, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Attorney General, may make such exceptions in the applicability of the procedures and rules of evidence otherwise applicable in general courts-martial as may be required by the unique circumstances of the conduct of military and intelligence operations during hostilities or by other practical need consistent with this chapter.

(2) Notwithstanding any exceptions authorized by paragraph (1), the procedures and rules of evidence in trials by military commission under this chapter shall include, at a minimum, the following rights of the accused:

(A) To present evidence in the accused's defense, to cross-examine the witnesses who testify against the accused, and to examine and respond to all evidence admitted against the accused on the issue of guilt or innocence and for sentencing, as provided for by this chapter.

(B) To be present at all sessions of the military commission (other than those for deliberations or voting), except when excluded under section 949d of this title.

(C)(i) When none of the charges sworn against the accused are capital, to be represented before a military commission by civilian counsel if provided at no expense to the Government, and by either the defense counsel detailed or the military counsel of the accused's own selection, if reasonably available.

(ii) When any of the charges sworn against the accused are capital, to be represented before a military commission in accordance with clause (i) and, to the greatest extent practicable, by at least one additional counsel who is learned in applicable law relating to capital cases and who, if necessary, may be a civilian and compensated in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.

(D) To self-representation, if the accused knowingly and competently waives the assistance of counsel, subject to the provisions of paragraph (4).

(E) To the suppression of evidence that is not reliable or probative.

(F) To the suppression of evidence the probative value of which is substantially outweighed by—

(i) the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the members; or

(ii) considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence.


(3) In making exceptions in the applicability in trials by military commission under this chapter from the procedures and rules otherwise applicable in general courts-martial, the Secretary of Defense may provide the following:

(A) Evidence seized outside the United States shall not be excluded from trial by military commission on the grounds that the evidence was not seized pursuant to a search warrant or authorization.

(B) A statement of the accused that is otherwise admissible shall not be excluded from trial by military commission on grounds of alleged coercion or compulsory self-incrimination so long as the evidence complies with the provisions of section 948r of this title.

(C) Evidence shall be admitted as authentic so long as—

(i) the military judge of the military commission determines that there is sufficient evidence that the evidence is what it is claimed to be; and

(ii) the military judge instructs the members that they may consider any issue as to authentication or identification of evidence in determining the weight, if any, to be given to the evidence.


(D) Hearsay evidence not otherwise admissible under the rules of evidence applicable in trial by general courts-martial may be admitted in a trial by military commission only if—

(i) the proponent of the evidence makes known to the adverse party, sufficiently in advance to provide the adverse party with a fair opportunity to meet the evidence, the proponent's intention to offer the evidence, and the particulars of the evidence (including information on the circumstances under which the evidence was obtained); and

(ii) the military judge, after taking into account all of the circumstances surrounding the taking of the statement, including the degree to which the statement is corroborated, the indicia of reliability within the statement itself, and whether the will of the declarant was overborne, determines that—

(I) the statement is offered as evidence of a material fact;

(II) the statement is probative on the point for which it is offered;

(III) direct testimony from the witness is not available as a practical matter, taking into consideration the physical location of the witness, the unique circumstances of military and intelligence operations during hostilities, and the adverse impacts on military or intelligence operations that would likely result from the production of the witness; and

(IV) the general purposes of the rules of evidence and the interests of justice will best be served by admission of the statement into evidence.


(4)(A) The accused in a military commission under this chapter who exercises the right to self-representation under paragraph (2)(D) shall conform the accused's deportment and the conduct of the defense to the rules of evidence, procedure, and decorum applicable to trials by military commission.

(B) Failure of the accused to conform to the rules described in subparagraph (A) may result in a partial or total revocation by the military judge of the right of self-representation under paragraph (2)(D). In such case, the military counsel of the accused or an appropriately authorized civilian counsel shall perform the functions necessary for the defense.

(c) Delegation of Authority To Prescribe Regulations.—The Secretary of Defense may delegate the authority of the Secretary to prescribe regulations under this chapter.

(d) Notice to Congress of Modification of Rules.—Not later than 60 days before the date on which any proposed modification of the rules in effect for military commissions under this chapter goes into effect, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives a report describing the proposed modification.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2581; amended Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title X, §1034(a), Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1572.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 949a, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2608, related to rules, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (b)(2)(C)(i), (ii). Pub. L. 112–81 substituted "sworn" for "preferred".

§949b. Unlawfully influencing action of military commission and United States Court of Military Commission Review

(a) Military Commissions.—(1) No authority convening a military commission under this chapter may censure, reprimand, or admonish the military commission, or any member, military judge, or counsel thereof, with respect to the findings or sentence adjudged by the military commission, or with respect to any other exercises of its or their functions in the conduct of the proceedings.

(2) No person may attempt to coerce or, by any unauthorized means, influence—

(A) the action of a military commission under this chapter, or any member thereof, in reaching the findings or sentence in any case;

(B) the action of any convening, approving, or reviewing authority with respect to their judicial acts; or

(C) the exercise of professional judgment by trial counsel or defense counsel.


(3) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply with respect to—

(A) general instructional or informational courses in military justice if such courses are designed solely for the purpose of instructing members of a command in the substantive and procedural aspects of military commissions; or

(B) statements and instructions given in open proceedings by a military judge or counsel.


(b) United States Court of Military Commission Review.—(1) No person may attempt to coerce or, by any unauthorized means, influence—

(A) the action of a judge on the United States Court of Military Commissions Review in reaching a decision on the findings or sentence on appeal in any case; or

(B) the exercise of professional judgment by trial counsel or defense counsel appearing before the United States Court of Military Commission Review.


(2) No person may censure, reprimand, or admonish a judge on the United States Court of Military Commission Review, or counsel thereof, with respect to any exercise of their functions in the conduct of proceedings under this chapter.

(3) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply with respect to—

(A) general instructional or informational courses in military justice if such courses are designed solely for the purpose of instructing members of a command in the substantive and procedural aspects of military commissions; or

(B) statements and instructions given in open proceedings by a judge on the United States Court of Military Commission Review, or counsel.


(4) No appellate military judge on the United States Court of Military Commission Review may be reassigned to other duties, except under circumstances as follows:

(A) The appellate military judge voluntarily requests to be reassigned to other duties and the Secretary of Defense, or the designee of the Secretary, in consultation with the Judge Advocate General of the armed force of which the appellate military judge is a member, approves such reassignment.

(B) The appellate military judge retires or otherwise separates from the armed forces.

(C) The appellate military judge is reassigned to other duties by the Secretary of Defense, or the designee of the Secretary, in consultation with the Judge Advocate General of the armed force of which the appellate military judge is a member, based on military necessity and such reassignment is consistent with service rotation regulations (to the extent such regulations are applicable).

(D) The appellate military judge is withdrawn by the Secretary of Defense, or the designee of the Secretary, in consultation with the Judge Advocate General of the armed force of which the appellate military judge is a member, for good cause consistent with applicable procedures under chapter 47 of this title (the Uniform Code of Military Justice).


(c) Prohibition on Consideration of Actions on Commission in Evaluation of Fitness.—In the preparation of an effectiveness, fitness, or efficiency report or any other report or document used in whole or in part for the purpose of determining whether a commissioned officer of the armed forces is qualified to be advanced in grade, or in determining the assignment or transfer of any such officer or whether any such officer should be retained on active duty, no person may—

(1) consider or evaluate the performance of duty of any member of a military commission under this chapter; or

(2) give a less favorable rating or evaluation to any commissioned officer because of the zeal with which such officer, in acting as counsel, represented any accused before a military commission under this chapter.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2583; amended Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title X, §1034(b), Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1573.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 949b, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2609, related to unlawfully influencing action of military commission, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (b)(1)(A). Pub. L. 112–81, §1034(b)(1), substituted "a judge on" for "a military appellate judge or other duly appointed judge under this chapter on".

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 112–81, §1034(b)(2), substituted "a judge on" for "a military appellate judge on".

Subsec. (b)(3)(B). Pub. L. 112–81, §1034(b)(3), substituted "a judge on" for "an appellate military judge or a duly appointed appellate judge on".

§949c. Duties of trial counsel and defense counsel

(a) Trial Counsel.—The trial counsel of a military commission under this chapter shall prosecute in the name of the United States.

(b) Defense Counsel.—(1) The accused shall be represented in the accused's defense before a military commission under this chapter as provided in this subsection.

(2) The accused may be represented by military counsel detailed under section 948k of this title or by military counsel of the accused's own selection, if reasonably available.

(3) The accused may be represented by civilian counsel if retained by the accused, provided that such civilian counsel—

(A) is a United States citizen;

(B) is admitted to the practice of law in a State, district, or possession of the United States, or before a Federal court;

(C) has not been the subject of any sanction of disciplinary action by any court, bar, or other competent governmental authority for relevant misconduct;

(D) has been determined to be eligible for access to information classified at the level Secret or higher; and

(E) has signed a written agreement to comply with all applicable regulations or instructions for counsel, including any rules of court for conduct during the proceedings.


(4) If the accused is represented by civilian counsel, military counsel shall act as associate counsel.

(5) The accused is not entitled to be represented by more than one military counsel. However, the person authorized under regulations prescribed under section 948k of this title to detail counsel, in such person's sole discretion, may detail additional military counsel to represent the accused.

(6) Defense counsel may cross-examine each witness for the prosecution who testifies before a military commission under this chapter.

(7) Civilian defense counsel shall protect any classified information received during the course of representation of the accused in accordance with all applicable law governing the protection of classified information, and may not divulge such information to any person not authorized to receive it.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2585.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 949c, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2610, related to duties of trial counsel and defense counsel, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

§949d. Sessions

(a) Sessions Without Presence of Members.—(1) At any time after the service of charges which have been referred for trial by military commission under this chapter, the military judge may call the military commission into session without the presence of the members for the purpose of—

(A) hearing and determining motions raising defenses or objections which are capable of determination without trial of the issues raised by a plea of not guilty;

(B) hearing and ruling upon any matter which may be ruled upon by the military judge under this chapter, whether or not the matter is appropriate for later consideration or decision by the members;

(C) if permitted by regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, receiving the pleas of the accused; and

(D) performing any other procedural function which may be performed by the military judge under this chapter or under rules prescribed pursuant to section 949a of this title and which does not require the presence of the members.


(2) Except as provided in subsections (b), (c), and (d), any proceedings under paragraph (1) shall be conducted in the presence of the accused, defense counsel, and trial counsel, and shall be made part of the record.

(b) Deliberation or Vote of Members.—When the members of a military commission under this chapter deliberate or vote, only the members may be present.

(c) Closure of Proceedings.—(1) The military judge may close to the public all or part of the proceedings of a military commission under this chapter.

(2) The military judge may close to the public all or a portion of the proceedings under paragraph (1) only upon making a specific finding that such closure is necessary to—

(A) protect information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to cause damage to the national security, including intelligence or law enforcement sources, methods, or activities; or

(B) ensure the physical safety of individuals.


(3) A finding under paragraph (2) may be based upon a presentation, including a presentation ex parte or in camera, by either trial counsel or defense counsel.

(d) Exclusion of Accused From Certain Proceedings.—The military judge may exclude the accused from any portion of a proceeding upon a determination that, after being warned by the military judge, the accused persists in conduct that justifies exclusion from the courtroom—

(1) to ensure the physical safety of individuals; or

(2) to prevent disruption of the proceedings by the accused.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2585.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 949d, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2611, related to sessions of military commissions, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

§949e. Continuances

The military judge in a military commission under this chapter may, for reasonable cause, grant a continuance to any party for such time, and as often, as may appear to be just.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2586.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 949e, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2613, related to continuances, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

§949f. Challenges

(a) Challenges Authorized.—The military judge and primary or alternate members of a military commission under this chapter may be challenged by the accused or trial counsel for cause stated to the military commission. The military judge shall determine the relevance and validity of challenges for cause, and may not receive a challenge to more than one person at a time. Challenges by trial counsel shall ordinarily be presented and decided before those by the accused are offered.

(b) Peremptory Challenges.—The accused and trial counsel are each entitled to one peremptory challenge, but the military judge may not be challenged except for cause. Nothing in this section prohibits the military judge from awarding to each party such additional peremptory challenges as may be required in the interests of justice.

(c) Challenges Against Additional Members.—Whenever additional members are detailed to a military commission under this chapter, and after any challenges for cause against such additional members are presented and decided, the accused and trial counsel are each entitled to one peremptory challenge against members not previously subject to peremptory challenge.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2586; amended Pub. L. 113–66, div. A, title X, §1031(b), Dec. 26, 2013, 127 Stat. 850.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 949f, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2613, related to challenges, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

Amendments

2013—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 113–66, §1031(b)(1), inserted "primary or alternate" before "members".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 113–66, §1031(b)(2), inserted at end "Nothing in this section prohibits the military judge from awarding to each party such additional peremptory challenges as may be required in the interests of justice."

§949g. Oaths

(a) In General.—(1) Before performing their respective duties in a military commission under this chapter, military judges, members, trial counsel, defense counsel, reporters, and interpreters shall take an oath to perform their duties faithfully.

(2) The form of the oath required by paragraph (1), the time and place of the taking thereof, the manner of recording thereof, and whether the oath shall be taken for all cases in which duties are to be performed or for a particular case, shall be as provided in regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense. The regulations may provide that—

(A) an oath to perform faithfully duties as a military judge, trial counsel, or defense counsel may be taken at any time by any judge advocate or other person certified to be qualified or competent for the duty; and

(B) if such an oath is taken, such oath need not again be taken at the time the judge advocate or other person is detailed to that duty.


(b) Witnesses.—Each witness before a military commission under this chapter shall be examined on oath.

(c) Oath Defined.—In this section, the term "oath" includes an affirmation.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2587.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 949g, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2613, related to oaths, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

§949h. Former jeopardy

(a) In General.—No person may, without the person's consent, be tried by a military commission under this chapter a second time for the same offense.

(b) Scope of Trial.—No proceeding in which the accused has been found guilty by military commission under this chapter upon any charge or specification is a trial in the sense of this section until the finding of guilty has become final after review of the case has been fully completed.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2587.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 949h, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2614, related to former jeopardy, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

§949i. Pleas of the accused

(a) Plea of Not Guilty.—If an accused in a military commission under this chapter after a plea of guilty sets up matter inconsistent with the plea, or if it appears that the accused has entered the plea of guilty through lack of understanding of its meaning and effect, or if the accused fails or refuses to plead, a plea of not guilty shall be entered in the record, and the military commission shall proceed as though the accused had pleaded not guilty.

(b) Finding of Guilt After Guilty Plea.—With respect to any charge or specification to which a plea of guilty has been made by the accused in a military commission under this chapter and accepted by the military judge, including a charge or specification that has been referred capital, a finding of guilty of the charge or specification may be entered by the military judge immediately without a vote by the members. The finding shall constitute the finding of the military commission unless the plea of guilty is withdrawn prior to announcement of the sentence, in which event the proceedings shall continue as though the accused had pleaded not guilty.

(c) Pre-Trial Agreements.—(1) A plea of guilty made by the accused that is accepted by a military judge under subsection (b) and not withdrawn prior to announcement of the sentence may form the basis for an agreement reducing the maximum sentence approved by the convening authority, including the reduction of a sentence of death to a lesser punishment, or that the case will be referred to a military commission under this chapter without seeking the penalty of death. Such an agreement may provide for terms and conditions in addition to a guilty plea by the accused in order to be effective.

(2) A plea agreement under this subsection may not provide for a sentence of death imposed by a military judge alone. A sentence of death may only be imposed by the unanimous vote of all members of a military commission concurring in the sentence of death as provided in section 949m(b)(2)(D) of this title.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2587; amended Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title X, §1030(b), Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1570; Pub. L. 113–291, div. A, title X, §1071(f)(9), Dec. 19, 2014, 128 Stat. 3510.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 949i, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2614, related to pleas of the accused, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

Amendments

2014—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 113–291 substituted a comma for ",," after "referred capital".

2011—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 112–81, §1030(b)(1), in the first sentence, inserted ", including a charge or specification that has been referred capital," after "military judge", "by the military judge" after "may be entered", and "by the members" after "vote".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 112–81, §1030(b)(2), added subsec. (c).

§949j. Opportunity to obtain witnesses and other evidence

(a) In General.—(1) Defense counsel in a military commission under this chapter shall have a reasonable opportunity to obtain witnesses and other evidence as provided in regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense. The opportunity to obtain witnesses and evidence shall be comparable to the opportunity available to a criminal defendant in a court of the United States under article III of the Constitution.

(2) Process issued in military commissions under this chapter to compel witnesses to appear and testify and to compel the production of other evidence—

(A) shall be similar to that which courts of the United States having criminal jurisdiction may lawfully issue; and

(B) shall run to any place where the United States shall have jurisdiction thereof.


(b) Disclosure of Exculpatory Evidence.—(1) As soon as practicable, trial counsel in a military commission under this chapter shall disclose to the defense the existence of any evidence that reasonably tends to—

(A) negate the guilt of the accused of an offense charged; or

(B) reduce the degree of guilt of the accused with respect to an offense charged.


(2) The trial counsel shall, as soon as practicable, disclose to the defense the existence of evidence that reasonably tends to impeach the credibility of a witness whom the government intends to call at trial.

(3) The trial counsel shall, as soon as practicable upon a finding of guilt, disclose to the defense the existence of evidence that is not subject to paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) but that reasonably may be viewed as mitigation evidence at sentencing.

(4) The disclosure obligations under this subsection encompass evidence that is known or reasonably should be known to any government officials who participated in the investigation and prosecution of the case against the defendant.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2587.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 949j, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2614, related to the opportunity to obtain witnesses and other evidence, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

§949k. Defense of lack of mental responsibility

(a) Affirmative Defense.—It is an affirmative defense in a trial by military commission under this chapter that, at the time of the commission of the acts constituting the offense, the accused, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of the acts. Mental disease or defect does not otherwise constitute a defense.

(b) Burden of Proof.—The accused in a military commission under this chapter has the burden of proving the defense of lack of mental responsibility by clear and convincing evidence.

(c) Findings Following Assertion of Defense.—Whenever lack of mental responsibility of the accused with respect to an offense is properly at issue in a military commission under this chapter, the military judge shall instruct the members as to the defense of lack of mental responsibility under this section and shall charge the members to find the accused—

(1) guilty;

(2) not guilty; or

(3) subject to subsection (d), not guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility.


(d) Majority Vote Required for Finding.—The accused shall be found not guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility under subsection (c)(3) only if a majority of the members present at the time the vote is taken determines that the defense of lack of mental responsibility has been established.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2588.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 949k, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2615, related to the defense of lack of mental responsibility, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

§949l. Voting and rulings

(a) Vote by Secret Written Ballot.—Voting by members of a military commission under this chapter on the findings and on the sentence shall be by secret written ballot.

(b) Rulings.—(1) The military judge in a military commission under this chapter shall rule upon all questions of law, including the admissibility of evidence and all interlocutory questions arising during the proceedings.

(2) Any ruling made by the military judge upon a question of law or an interlocutory question (other than the factual issue of mental responsibility of the accused) is conclusive and constitutes the ruling of the military commission. However, a military judge may change such a ruling at any time during the trial.

(c) Instructions Prior to Vote.—Before a vote is taken of the findings of a military commission under this chapter, the military judge shall, in the presence of the accused and counsel, instruct the members as to the elements of the offense and charge the members—

(1) that the accused must be presumed to be innocent until the accused's guilt is established by legal and competent evidence beyond a reasonable doubt;

(2) that in the case being considered, if there is a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused, the doubt must be resolved in favor of the accused and the accused must be acquitted;

(3) that, if there is reasonable doubt as to the degree of guilt, the finding must be in a lower degree as to which there is no reasonable doubt; and

(4) that the burden of proof to establish the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt is upon the United States.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2589.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 949l, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2615, related to voting and rulings, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

§949m. Number of votes required

(a) Conviction.—No person may be convicted by a military commission under this chapter of any offense, except as provided in section 949i(b) of this title or by concurrence of two-thirds of the primary members present at the time the vote is taken.

(b) Sentences.—(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), sentences shall be determined by a military commission by the concurrence of two-thirds of the primary members present at the time the vote is taken.

(2) No person may be sentenced to death by a military commission, except insofar as—

(A) the penalty of death has been expressly authorized under this chapter, chapter 47 of this title, or the law of war for an offense of which the accused has been found guilty;

(B) trial counsel expressly sought the penalty of death by filing an appropriate notice in advance of trial;

(C) the accused was convicted of the offense by the concurrence of all the primary members present at the time the vote is taken, or a guilty plea was accepted and not withdrawn prior to announcement of the sentence in accordance with section 949i(b) of this title; and

(D) all primary members present at the time the vote was taken on the sentence concurred in the sentence of death.


(3) No person may be sentenced to life imprisonment, or to confinement for more than 10 years, by a military commission under this chapter except by the concurrence of three-fourths of the primary members present at the time the vote is taken.

(4) The primary members present for a vote on a sentence need not be the same primary members who voted on the conviction if the requirements of section 948m(d) of this title are met.

(c) Number of Members Required for Penalty of Death.—(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), in a case in which the penalty of death is sought, the number of primary members of the military commission under this chapter shall be not less than 12 primary members.

(2) In any case described in paragraph (1) in which 12 primary members are not reasonably available for a military commission because of physical conditions or military exigencies, the convening authority shall specify a lesser number of primary members for the military commission (but not fewer than 9 primary members), and the military commission may be assembled, and the trial held, with not less than the number of primary members so specified. In any such case, the convening authority shall make a detailed written statement, to be appended to the record, stating why a greater number of primary members were not reasonably available.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2589; amended Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title X, §1030(a), Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1570; Pub. L. 113–66, div. A, title X, §1031(c), Dec. 26, 2013, 127 Stat. 850.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 949m, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2616, related to number of votes required for conviction and sentences and number of members required on military commission for penalty of death, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

Amendments

2013Pub. L. 113–66, §1031(c)(1), inserted "primary" before "members" wherever appearing.

Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 113–66, §1031(c)(2), added par. (4).

2011—Subsec. (b)(2)(C). Pub. L. 112–81, §1030(a)(1), inserted before semicolon ", or a guilty plea was accepted and not withdrawn prior to announcement of the sentence in accordance with section 949i(b) of this title".

Subsec. (b)(2)(D). Pub. L. 112–81, §1030(a)(2), inserted "on the sentence" after "vote was taken".

§949n. Military commission to announce action

A military commission under this chapter shall announce its findings and sentence to the parties as soon as determined.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2590.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 949n, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2617, required a military commission to announce its findings and sentence as soon as determined, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

§949o. Record of trial

(a) Record; Authentication.—Each military commission under this chapter shall keep a separate, verbatim, record of the proceedings in each case brought before it, and the record shall be authenticated by the signature of the military judge. If the record cannot be authenticated by the military judge by reason of death, disability, or absence, it shall be authenticated by the signature of the trial counsel or by a member of the commission if the trial counsel is unable to authenticate it by reason of death, disability, or absence. Where appropriate, and as provided in regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, the record of a military commission under this chapter may contain a classified annex.

(b) Complete Record Required.—A complete record of the proceedings and testimony shall be prepared in every military commission under this chapter.

(c) Provision of Copy to Accused.—A copy of the record of the proceedings of the military commission under this chapter shall be given the accused as soon as it is authenticated. If the record contains classified information, or a classified annex, the accused shall receive a redacted version of the record consistent with the requirements of subchapter V of this chapter. Defense counsel shall have access to the unredacted record, as provided in regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2590.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 949o, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2617, related to record of trial, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.