[USC02] 10 USC Subtitle A, PART II, CHAPTER 47A, SUBCHAPTER VII: POST-TRIAL PROCEDURE AND REVIEW OF MILITARY COMMISSIONS
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10 USC Subtitle A, PART II, CHAPTER 47A, SUBCHAPTER VII: POST-TRIAL PROCEDURE AND REVIEW OF MILITARY COMMISSIONS
From Title 10—ARMED FORCESSubtitle A—General Military LawPART II—PERSONNELCHAPTER 47A—MILITARY COMMISSIONS

SUBCHAPTER VII—POST-TRIAL PROCEDURE AND REVIEW OF MILITARY COMMISSIONS

Sec.
950a.
Error of law; lesser included offense.
950b.
Review by the convening authority.
950c.
Appellate referral; waiver or withdrawal of appeal.
950d.
Interlocutory appeals by the United States.
950e.
Rehearings.
950f.
Review by United States Court of Military Commission Review.
950g.
Review by United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; writ of certiorari to Supreme Court.
950h.
Appellate counsel.
950i.
Execution of sentence; suspension of sentence.
950j.
Finality of proceedings, findings, and sentences.

        

Amendments

2018Pub. L. 115–232, div. A, title X, §1081(a)(11), Aug. 13, 2018, 132 Stat. 1983, substituted "United States Court of Appeals" for "United States Court of Court of Appeals" in item 950g.

§950a. Error of law; lesser included offense

(a) Error of Law.—A finding or sentence of a military commission under this chapter may not be held incorrect on the ground of an error of law unless the error materially prejudices the substantial rights of the accused.

(b) Lesser Included Offense.—Any reviewing authority with the power to approve or affirm a finding of guilty by a military commission under this chapter may approve or affirm, instead, so much of the finding as includes a lesser included offense.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2599.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 950a, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2618, related to error of law and lesser included offense, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

§950b. Review by the convening authority

(a) Notice to Convening Authority of Findings and Sentence.—The findings and sentence of a military commission under this chapter shall be reported in writing promptly to the convening authority after the announcement of the sentence.

(b) Submittal of Matters by Accused to Convening Authority.—(1) The accused may submit to the convening authority matters for consideration by the convening authority with respect to the findings and the sentence of the military commission under this chapter.

(2)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a submittal under paragraph (1) shall be made in writing within 20 days after the accused has been given an authenticated record of trial under section 949o(c) of this title.

(B) If the accused shows that additional time is required for the accused to make a submittal under paragraph (1), the convening authority may, for good cause, extend the applicable period under subparagraph (A) for not more than an additional 20 days.

(3) The accused may waive the accused's right to make a submittal to the convening authority under paragraph (1). Such a waiver shall be made in writing, and may not be revoked. For the purposes of subsection (c)(2), the time within which the accused may make a submittal under this subsection shall be deemed to have expired upon the submittal of a waiver under this paragraph to the convening authority.

(c) Action by Convening Authority.—(1) The authority under this subsection to modify the findings and sentence of a military commission under this chapter is a matter of the sole discretion and prerogative of the convening authority.

(2) The convening authority is not required to take action on the findings of a military commission under this chapter. If the convening authority takes action on the findings, the convening authority may, in the sole discretion of the convening authority, only—

(A) dismiss any charge or specification by setting aside a finding of guilty thereto; or

(B) change a finding of guilty to a charge to a finding of guilty to an offense that is a lesser included offense of the offense stated in the charge.


(3)(A) The convening authority shall take action on the sentence of a military commission under this chapter.

(B) Subject to regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, action under this paragraph may be taken only after consideration of any matters submitted by the accused under subsection (b) or after the time for submitting such matters expires, whichever is earlier.

(C) In taking action under this paragraph, the convening authority may, in the sole discretion of the convening authority, approve, disapprove, commute, or suspend the sentence in whole or in part. The convening authority may not increase a sentence beyond that which is found by the military commission.

(4) The convening authority shall serve on the accused or on defense counsel notice of any action taken by the convening authority under this subsection.

(d) Order of Revision or Rehearing.—(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the convening authority of a military commission under this chapter may, in the sole discretion of the convening authority, order a proceeding in revision or a rehearing.

(2)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a proceeding in revision may be ordered by the convening authority if—

(i) there is an apparent error or omission in the record; or

(ii) the record shows improper or inconsistent action by the military commission with respect to the findings or sentence that can be rectified without material prejudice to the substantial rights of the accused.


(B) In no case may a proceeding in revision—

(i) reconsider a finding of not guilty of a specification or a ruling which amounts to a finding of not guilty;

(ii) reconsider a finding of not guilty of any charge, unless there has been a finding of guilty under a specification laid under that charge, which sufficiently alleges a violation; or

(iii) increase the severity of the sentence unless the sentence prescribed for the offense is mandatory.


(3) A rehearing may be ordered by the convening authority if the convening authority disapproves the findings and sentence and states the reasons for disapproval of the findings. If the convening authority disapproves the finding and sentence and does not order a rehearing, the convening authority shall dismiss the charges. A rehearing as to the findings may not be ordered by the convening authority when there is a lack of sufficient evidence in the record to support the findings. A rehearing as to the sentence may be ordered by the convening authority if the convening authority disapproves the sentence.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2599; amended Pub. L. 113–291, div. A, title X, §1071(f)(10), Dec. 19, 2014, 128 Stat. 3510.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 950b, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2618, related to review by the convening authority, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

Amendments

2014—Subsec. (b)(2)(A). Pub. L. 113–291 substituted "given" for "give".

§950c. Appellate referral; waiver or withdrawal of appeal

(a) Automatic Referral for Appellate Review.—Except as provided in subsection (b), in each case in which the final decision of a military commission under this chapter (as approved by the convening authority) includes a finding of guilty, the convening authority shall refer the case to the United States Court of Military Commission Review. Any such referral shall be made in accordance with procedures prescribed under regulations of the Secretary.

(b) Waiver of Right of Review.—(1) Except in a case in which the sentence as approved under section 950b of this title extends to death, an accused may file with the convening authority a statement expressly waiving the right of the accused to appellate review by the United States Court of Military Commission Review under section 950f of this title of the final decision of the military commission under this chapter.

(2) A waiver under paragraph (1) shall be signed by both the accused and a defense counsel.

(3) A waiver under paragraph (1) must be filed, if at all, within 10 days after notice of the action is served on the accused or on defense counsel under section 950b(c)(4) of this title. The convening authority, for good cause, may extend the period for such filing by not more than 30 days.

(c) Withdrawal of Appeal.—Except in a case in which the sentence as approved under section 950b of this title extends to death, the accused may withdraw an appeal at any time.

(d) Effect of Waiver or Withdrawal.—A waiver of the right to appellate review or the withdrawal of an appeal under this section bars review under section 950f of this title.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2600.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 950c, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2620, related to appellate referral and waiver or withdrawal of appeal, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

§950d. Interlocutory appeals by the United States

(a) Interlocutory Appeal.—Except as provided in subsection (b), in a trial by military commission under this chapter, the United States may take an interlocutory appeal to the United States Court of Military Commission Review of any order or ruling of the military judge—

(1) that terminates proceedings of the military commission with respect to a charge or specification;

(2) that excludes evidence that is substantial proof of a fact material in the proceeding;

(3) that relates to a matter under subsection (c) or (d) of section 949d of this title; or

(4) that, with respect to classified information—

(A) authorizes the disclosure of such information;

(B) imposes sanctions for nondisclosure of such information; or

(C) refuses a protective order sought by the United States to prevent the disclosure of such information.


(b) Limitation.—The United States may not appeal under subsection (a) an order or ruling that is, or amounts to, a finding of not guilty by the military commission with respect to a charge or specification.

(c) Scope of Appeal Right With Respect to Classified Information.—The United States has the right to appeal under paragraph (4) of subsection (a) whenever the military judge enters an order or ruling that would require the disclosure of classified information, without regard to whether the order or ruling appealed from was entered under this chapter, another provision of law, a rule, or otherwise. Any such appeal may embrace any preceding order, ruling, or reasoning constituting the basis of the order or ruling that would authorize such disclosure.

(d) Timing and Action on Interlocutory Appeals Relating to Classified Information.—

(1) Appeal to be expedited.—An appeal taken pursuant to paragraph (4) of subsection (a) shall be expedited by the United States Court of Military Commission Review.

(2) Appeals before trial.—If such an appeal is taken before trial, the appeal shall be taken within 10 days after the order or ruling from which the appeal is made and the trial shall not commence until the appeal is decided.

(3) Appeals during trial.—If such an appeal is taken during trial, the military judge shall adjourn the trial until the appeal is decided, and the court of appeals—

(A) shall hear argument on such appeal within 4 days of the adjournment of the trial (excluding weekends and holidays);

(B) may dispense with written briefs other than the supporting materials previously submitted to the military judge;

(C) shall render its decision within four days of argument on appeal (excluding weekends and holidays); and

(D) may dispense with the issuance of a written opinion in rendering its decision.


(e) Notice and Timing of Other Appeals.—The United States shall take an appeal of an order or ruling under subsection (a), other than an appeal under paragraph (4) of that subsection, by filing a notice of appeal with the military judge within 5 days after the date of the order or ruling.

(f) Method of Appeal.—An appeal under this section shall be forwarded, by means specified in regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, directly to the United States Court of Military Commission Review.

(g) Appeals Court To Act Only With Respect to Matter of Law.—In ruling on an appeal under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subsection (a), the appeals court may act only with respect to matters of law.

(h) Subsequent Appeal Rights of Accused Not Affected.—An appeal under paragraph (4) of subsection (a), and a decision on such appeal, shall not affect the right of the accused, in a subsequent appeal from a judgment of conviction, to claim as error reversal by the military judge on remand of a ruling appealed from during trial.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2601.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 950d, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2620, related to appeal by the United States, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

§950e. Rehearings

(a) Composition of Military Commission for Rehearing.—Each rehearing under this chapter shall take place before a military commission under this chapter composed of members who were not members of the military commission which first heard the case.

(b) Scope of Rehearing.—(1) Upon a rehearing—

(A) the accused may not be tried for any offense of which the accused was found not guilty by the first military commission; and

(B) no sentence in excess of or more than the original sentence may be imposed unless—

(i) the sentence is based upon a finding of guilty of an offense not considered upon the merits in the original proceedings; or

(ii) the sentence prescribed for the offense is mandatory.


(2) Upon a rehearing, if the sentence approved after the first military commission was in accordance with a pretrial agreement and the accused at the rehearing changes his plea with respect to the charges or specifications upon which the pretrial agreement was based, or otherwise does not comply with pretrial agreement, the sentence as to those charges or specifications may include any punishment not in excess of that lawfully adjudged at the first military commission.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2602.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 950e, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2621, related to rehearings, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

§950f. Review by United States Court of Military Commission Review

(a) Establishment.—There is a court of record to be known as the "United States Court of Military Commission Review" (in this section referred to as the "Court"). The Court shall consist of one or more panels, each composed of not less than three judges on the Court. For the purpose of reviewing decisions of military commissions under this chapter, the Court may sit in panels or as a whole, in accordance with rules prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.

(b) Judges.—(1) Judges on the Court shall be assigned or appointed in a manner consistent with the provisions of this subsection.

(2) The Secretary of Defense may assign persons who are appellate military judges to be judges on the Court. Any judge so assigned shall be a commissioned officer of the armed forces, and shall meet the qualifications for military judges prescribed by section 948j(b) of this title.

(3) The President may appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, additional judges to the United States Court of Military Commission Review.

(4) No person may serve as a judge on the Court in any case in which that person acted as a military judge, counsel, or reviewing official.

(5)(A) For purposes of sections 203, 205, 207, 208, and 209 of title 18, the term "special Government employee" shall include a judge of the Court appointed under paragraph (3).

(B) A person appointed as a judge of the Court under paragraph (3) shall be considered to be an officer or employee of the United States with respect to such person's status as a judge, but only during periods in which such person is performing the duties of such a judge. Any provision of law that prohibits or limits the political or business activities of an employee of the United States shall only apply to such a judge during such periods.

(6) The term of an appellate military judge assigned to the Court under paragraph (2) or appointed to the Court under paragraph (3) shall expire on the earlier of the date on which—

(A) the judge leaves active duty; or

(B) the judge is reassigned to other duties in accordance with section 949b(b)(4) of this title.


(c) Cases To Be Reviewed.—The Court shall, in accordance with procedures prescribed under regulations of the Secretary, review the record in each case that is referred to the Court by the convening authority under section 950c of this title with respect to any matter properly raised by the accused.

(d) Standard and Scope of Review.—In a case reviewed by the Court under this section, the Court may act only with respect to the findings and sentence as approved by the convening authority. The Court may affirm only such findings of guilty, and the sentence or such part or amount of the sentence, as the Court finds correct in law and fact and determines, on the basis of the entire record, should be approved. In considering the record, the Court may weigh the evidence, judge the credibility of witnesses, and determine controverted questions of fact, recognizing that the military commission saw and heard the witnesses.

(e) Rehearings.—If the Court sets aside the findings or sentence, the Court may, except where the setting aside is based on lack of sufficient evidence in the record to support the findings, order a rehearing. If the Court sets aside the findings or sentence and does not order a rehearing, the Court shall order that the charges be dismissed.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2603; amended Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title X, §1034(c), Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1573; Pub. L. 115–91, div. A, title X, §1082, Dec. 12, 2017, 131 Stat. 1602; Pub. L. 115–232, div. A, title V, §541(a), Aug. 13, 2018, 132 Stat. 1761.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 950f, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2621; amended Pub. L. 110–181, div. A, title X, §1063(a)(6), Jan. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 322, related to review by Court of Military Commission Review, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (b)(6). Pub. L. 115–232 added par. (6).

2017—Subsec. (b)(5). Pub. L. 115–91 added par. (5).

2011—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 112–81 substituted "judges on the Court" for "appellate military judges" in second sentence.

Effective Date of 2018 Amendment

Pub. L. 115–232, div. A, title V, §541(b), Aug. 13, 2018, 132 Stat. 1762, provided that: "The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply to each judge of the United States Court of Military Commission Review serving on that court on the date of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 13, 2018] and each judge assigned or appointed to that court on or after such date."

§950g. Review by United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; writ of certiorari to Supreme Court

(a) Exclusive Appellate Jurisdiction.—Except as provided in subsection (b), the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit shall have exclusive jurisdiction to determine the validity of a final judgment rendered by a military commission (as approved by the convening authority and, where applicable, as affirmed or set aside as incorrect in law by the United States Court of Military Commission Review) under this chapter.

(b) Exhaustion of Other Appeals.—The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit may not review a final judgment described in subsection (a) until all other appeals under this chapter have been waived or exhausted.

(c) Time for Seeking Review.—A petition for review by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit must be filed in the Court of Appeals—

(1) not later than 20 days after the date on which written notice of the final decision of the United States Court of Military Commission Review is served on the parties; or

(2) if the accused submits, in the form prescribed by section 950c of this title, a written notice waiving the right of the accused to review by the United States Court of Military Commission Review, not later than 20 days after the date on which such notice is submitted.


(d) Scope and Nature of Review.—The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit may act under this section only with respect to the findings and sentence as approved by the convening authority and as affirmed or set aside as incorrect in law by the United States Court of Military Commission Review, and shall take action only with respect to matters of law, including the sufficiency of the evidence to support the verdict.

(e) Review by Supreme Court.—The Supreme Court may review by writ of certiorari pursuant to section 1254 of title 28 the final judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit under this section.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2603; amended Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title X, §1034(d), Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1573.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 950g, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2622, related to review by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the Supreme Court, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 112–81, §1034(d)(1), inserted "as affirmed or set aside as incorrect in law by" after "where applicable,".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 112–81, §1034(d)(2)(A), substituted "in the Court of Appeals—" for "by the accused in the Court of Appeals not later than 20 days after the date on which—" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 112–81, §1034(d)(2)(B), inserted "not later than 20 days after the date on which" before "written notice" and substituted "on the parties" for "on the accused or on defense counsel".

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 112–81, §1034(d)(2)(C), inserted "if" before "the accused submits" and inserted before period at end ", not later than 20 days after the date on which such notice is submitted".

§950h. Appellate counsel

(a) Appointment.—The Secretary of Defense shall, by regulation, establish procedures for the appointment of appellate counsel for the United States and for the accused in military commissions under this chapter. Appellate counsel shall meet the qualifications of counsel for appearing before military commissions under this chapter.

(b) Representation of United States.—Appellate counsel appointed under subsection (a)—

(1) shall represent the United States in any appeal or review proceeding under this chapter before the United States Court of Military Commission Review; and

(2) may, when requested to do so by the Attorney General in a case arising under this chapter, represent the United States before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit or the Supreme Court.


(c) Representation of Accused.—The accused shall be represented by appellate counsel appointed under subsection (a) before the United States Court of Military Commission Review, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and the Supreme Court, and by civilian counsel if retained by the accused. Any such civilian counsel shall meet the qualifications under paragraph (3) of section 949c(b) of this title for civilian counsel appearing before military commissions under this chapter and shall be subject to the requirements of paragraph (7) of that section.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2604.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 950h, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2622, related to appellate counsel, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

§950i. Execution of sentence; suspension of sentence

(a) In General.—The Secretary of Defense is authorized to carry out a sentence imposed by a military commission under this chapter in accordance with such procedures as the Secretary may prescribe.

(b) Execution of Sentence of Death Only Upon Approval by the President.—If the sentence of a military commission under this chapter extends to death, that part of the sentence providing for death may not be executed until approved by the President. In such a case, the President may commute, remit, or suspend the sentence, or any part thereof, as he sees fit.

(c) Execution of Sentence of Death Only Upon Final Judgment of Legality of Proceedings.—(1) If the sentence of a military commission under this chapter extends to death, the sentence may not be executed until there is a final judgment as to the legality of the proceedings (and with respect to death, approval under subsection (b)).

(2) A judgment as to legality of proceedings is final for purposes of paragraph (1) when review is completed in accordance with the judgment of the United States Court of Military Commission Review and—

(A) the time for the accused to file a petition for review by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has expired, the accused has not filed a timely petition for such review, and the case is not otherwise under review by the Court of Appeals; or

(B) review is completed in accordance with the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and—

(i) a petition for a writ of certiorari is not timely filed;

(ii) such a petition is denied by the Supreme Court; or

(iii) review is otherwise completed in accordance with the judgment of the Supreme Court.


(d) Suspension of Sentence.—The Secretary of the Defense, or the convening authority acting on the case (if other than the Secretary), may suspend the execution of any sentence or part thereof in the case, except a sentence of death.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2605.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 950i, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2623, related to execution of sentence, procedures for execution of sentence of death, and suspension of sentence prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.

§950j. Finality of proceedings, findings, and sentences

The appellate review of records of trial provided by this chapter, and the proceedings, findings, and sentences of military commissions as approved, reviewed, or affirmed as required by this chapter, are final and conclusive. Orders publishing the proceedings of military commissions under this chapter are binding upon all departments, courts, agencies, and officers of the United States, subject only to action by the Secretary or the convening authority as provided in section 950i(c) of this title and the authority of the President.

(Added Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XVIII, §1802, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2605.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 950j, added Pub. L. 109–366, §3(a)(1), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2623; amended Pub. L. 110–181, div. A, title X, §1063(a)(7), Jan. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 322, related to finality of proceedings, findings, and sentences, prior to the general amendment of this chapter by Pub. L. 111–84.