32 CFR 9.6 - Conduct of the trial.
(a)Pretrial procedures -
(1)Preparation of the Charges. The Prosecution shall prepare charges for approval by the Appointing Authority, as provided in § 9.4(b)(2)(i).
(2)Referral to the Commission. The Appointing Authority may approve and refer for trial any charge against an individual or individuals within the jurisdiction of a Commission in accordance with § 9.3(a) and alleging an offense within the jurisdiction of a Commission in accordance with § 9.3(b).
(3)Notification of the accused. The Prosecution shall provide copies of the charges approved by the Appointing Authority to the Accused and Defense Counsel. The Prosecution also shall submit the charges approved by the Appointing Authority to the Presiding Officer of the Commission to which they were referred.
(4)Plea Agreements. The Accused, through Defense Counsel, and the Prosecution may submit for approval to the Appointing Authority a plea agreement mandating a sentence limitation or any other provision in exchange for an agreement to plead guilty, or any other consideration. Any agreement to plead guilty must include a written stipulation of fact, signed by the Accused, that confirms the guilt of the Accused and the voluntary and informed nature of the plea of guilty. If the Appointing Authority approves the plea agreement, the Commission will, after determining the voluntary and informed nature of the plea agreement, admit the plea agreement and stipulation into evidence and be bound to adjudge findings and a sentence pursuant to that plea agreement.
(5)Issuance and service of process; obtaining evidence.
(i) The Commission shall have power to:
(A) Summon witnesses to attend trial and testify;
(B) Administer oaths or affirmations to witnesses and other persons and to question witnesses;
(C) Require the production of documents and other evidentiary material; and
(D) Designate special commissioners to take evidence.
(ii) The Presiding Officer shall exercise these powers on behalf of the Commission at the Presiding Officer's own initiative, or at the request of the Prosecution or the Defense, as necessary to ensure a full and fair trial in accordance with the President's Military Order and this part. The Commission shall issue its process in the name of the Department of Defense over the signature of the Presiding Officer. Such process shall be served as directed by the Presiding Officer in a manner calculated to give reasonable notice to persons required to take action in accordance with that process.
(b)Duties of the Commission during trial. The Commission shall:
(1) Provide a full and fair trial.
(2) Proceed impartially and expeditiously, strictly confining the proceedings to a full and fair trial of the charges, excluding irrelevant evidence, and preventing any unnecessary interference or delay.
(3) Hold open proceedings except where otherwise decided by the Appointing Authority or the Presiding Officer in accordance with the President's Military Order and this part. Grounds for closure include the protection of information classified or classifiable under Executive Order 12958; information protected by law or rule from unauthorized disclosure; the physical safety of participants in Commission proceedings, including prospective witnesses; intelligence and law enforcement sources, methods, or activities; and other national security interests. The Presiding Officer may decide to close all or part of a proceeding on the Presiding Officer's own initiative or based upon a presentation, including an ex parte, in camera presentation by either the Prosecution or the Defense. A decision to close a proceeding or portion thereof may include a decision to exclude the Accused, Civilian Defense Counsel, or any other person, but Detailed Defense Counsel may not be excluded from any trial proceeding or portion thereof. Except with the prior authorization of the Presiding Officer and subject to section 9 of this part, Defense Counsel may not disclose any information presented during a closed session to individuals excluded from such proceeding or part thereof. Open proceedings may include, at the discretion of the Appointing Authority, attendance by the public and accredited press, and public release of transcripts at the appropriate time. Proceedings should be open to the maximum extent practicable. Photography, video, or audio broadcasting, or recording of or at Commission proceedings shall be prohibited, except photography, video, and audio recording by the Commission pursuant to the direction of the Presiding Officer as necessary for preservation of the record of trial.
(4) Hold each session at such time and place as may be directed by the Appointing Authority. Members of the Commission may meet in closed conference at any time.
(5) As soon as practicable at the conclusion of a trial, transmit an authenticated copy of the record of trial to the Appointing Authority.
(1) Members of a Commission, all Prosecutors, all Defense Counsel, all court reporters, all security personnel, and all interpreters shall take an oath to perform their duties faithfully.
(2) Each witness appearing before a Commission shall be examined under oath, as provided in paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section.
(3) An oath includes an affirmation. Any formulation that appeals to the conscience of the person to whom the oath is administered and that binds that person to speak the truth, or, in the case of one other than a witness, properly to perform certain duties, is sufficient.
(1)Admissibility. Evidence shall be admitted if, in the opinion of the Presiding Officer (or instead, if any other member of the Commission so requests at the time the Presiding Officer renders that opinion, the opinion of the Commission rendered at that time by a majority of the Commission), the evidence would have probative value to a reasonable person.
(i)Production of witnesses. The Prosecution or the Defense may request that the Commission hear the testimony of any person, and such testimony shall be received if found to be admissible and not cumulative. The Commission may also summon and hear witnesses on its own initiative. The Commission may permit the testimony of witnesses by telephone, audiovisual means, or other means; however, the Commission shall consider the ability to test the veracity of that testimony in evaluating the weight to be given to the testimony of the witness.
(ii)Testimony. Testimony of witnesses shall be given under oath or affirmation. The Commission may still hear a witness who refuses to swear an oath or make a solemn undertaking; however, the Commission shall consider the refusal to swear an oath or give an affirmation in evaluating the weight to be given to the testimony of the witness.
(iii)Examination of witnesses. A witness who testifies before the Commission is subject to both direct examination and cross-examination. The Presiding Officer shall maintain order in the proceedings and shall not permit badgering of witnesses or questions that are not material to the issues before the Commission. Members of the Commission may question witnesses at any time.
(iv)Protection of witnesses. The Presiding Officer shall consider the safety of witnesses and others, as well as the safeguarding of Protected Information as defined in paragraph (d)(5)(i) of this section, in determining the appropriate methods of receiving testimony and evidence. The Presiding Officer may hear any presentation by the Prosecution or the Defense, including an ex parte, in camera presentation, regarding the safety of potential witnesses before determining the ways in which witnesses and evidence will be protected. The Presiding Officer may authorize any methods appropriate for the protection of witnesses and evidence. Such methods may include, but are not limited to: testimony by telephone, audiovisual means, or other electronic means; closure of the proceedings; introduction of prepared declassified summaries of evidence; and the use of pseudonyms.
(3)Other evidence. Subject to the requirements of paragraph (d)(1) of this section concerning admissibility, the Commission may consider any other evidence including, but not limited to, testimony from prior trials and proceedings, sworn or unsworn written statements, physical evidence, or scientific or other reports.
(4)Notice. The Commission may, after affording the Prosecution and the Defense an opportunity to be heard, take conclusive notice of facts that are not subject to reasonable dispute either because they are generally known or are capable of determination by resort to sources that cannot reasonably be contested.
(5)Protection of Information -
(i)Protective Order. The Presiding Officer may issue protective orders as necessary to carry out the Military Order and this part, including to safeguard “Protected Information,” which includes:
(A) Information classified or classifiable pursuant to Executive Order 12958;
(B) Information protected by law or rule from unauthorized disclosure;
(C) Information the disclosure of which may endanger the physical safety of participants in Commission proceedings, including prospective witnesses;
(D) Information concerning intelligence and law enforcement sources, methods, or activities; or
(E) Information concerning other national security interests. As soon as practicable, counsel for either side will notify the Presiding Officer of any intent to offer evidence involving Protected Information.
(ii)Limited disclosure. The Presiding Officer, upon motion of the Prosecution or sua sponte, shall, as necessary to protect the interests of the United States and consistent with § 9.9, direct:
(A) The deletion of specified items of Protected Information from documents to be made available to the Accused, Detailed Defense Counsel, or Civilian Defense Counsel;
(B) The substitution of a portion or summary of the information for such Protected Information; or
(C) The substitution of a statement of the relevant facts that the Protected Information would tend to prove. The Prosecution's motion and any materials submitted in support thereof or in response thereto shall, upon request of the Prosecution, be considered by the Presiding Officer ex parte, in camera, but no Protected Information shall be admitted into evidence for consideration by the Commission if not presented to Detailed Defense Counsel.
(iii)Closure of proceedings. The Presiding Officer may direct the closure of proceedings in accordance with paragraph (b)(3) of this section.
(iv)Protected information as part of the record of trial. All exhibits admitted as evidence but containing Protected Information shall be sealed and annexed to the record of trial. Additionally, any Protected Information not admitted as evidence but reviewed in camera and subsequently withheld from the Defense over Defense objection shall, with the associated motions and responses and any materials submitted in support thereof, be sealed and annexed to the record of trial as additional exhibits. Such sealed material shall be made available to reviewing authorities in closed proceedings.
(e)Proceedings during trial. The proceedings at each trial will be conducted substantially as follows, unless modified by the Presiding Officer to suit the particular circumstances:
(1) Each charge will be read, or its substance communicated, in the presence of the Accused and the Commission.
(2) The Presiding Officer shall ask each Accused whether the Accused pleads “Guilty” or “Not Guilty.” Should the Accused refuse to enter a plea, the Presiding Officer shall enter a plea of “Not Guilty” on the Accused's behalf. If the plea to an offense is “Guilty,” the Presiding Officer shall enter a finding of Guilty on that offense after conducting sufficient inquiry to form an opinion that the plea is voluntary and informed. Any plea of Guilty that is not determined to be voluntary and informed shall be changed to a plea of Not Guilty. Plea proceedings shall then continue as to the remaining charges. If a plea of “Guilty” is made on all charges, the Commission shall proceed to sentencing proceedings; if not, the Commission shall proceed to trial as to the charges for which a “Not Guilty” plea has been entered.
(3) The Prosecution shall make its opening statement.
(4) The witnesses and other evidence for the Prosecution shall be heard or received.
(5) The Defense may make an opening statement after the Prosecution's opening statement or prior to presenting its case.
(6) The witnesses and other evidence for the Defense shall be heard or received.
(7) Thereafter, the Prosecution and the Defense may introduce evidence in rebuttal and surrebuttal.
(8) The Prosecution shall present argument to the Commission. Defense Counsel shall be permitted to present argument in response, and then the Prosecution may reply in rebuttal.
(9) After the members of the Commission deliberate and vote on findings in closed conference, the Presiding Officer shall announce the Commission's findings in the presence of the Commission, the Prosecution, the Accused, and Defense Counsel. The individual votes of the members of the Commission shall not be disclosed.
(10) In the event a finding of Guilty is entered for an offense, the Prosecution and the Defense may present information to aid the Commission in determining an appropriate sentence. The Accused may testify and shall be subject to cross-examination regarding any such testimony.
(11) The Prosecution and, thereafter, the Defense shall present argument to the Commission regarding sentencing.
(12) After the members of the Commission deliberate and vote on a sentence in closed conference, the Presiding Officer shall announce the Commission's sentence in the presence of the Commission, the Prosecution, the Accused, and Defense Counsel. The individual votes of the members of the Commission shall not be disclosed.
(f)Voting. Members of the Commission shall deliberate and vote in closed conference. A Commission member shall vote for a finding of Guilty as to an offense if and only if that member is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, based on the evidence admitted at trial, that the Accused is guilty of the offense. An affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members is required for a finding of Guilty. When appropriate, the Commission may adjust a charged offense by exceptions and substitutions of language that do not substantially change the nature of the offense or increase its seriousness, or it may vote to convict of a lesser-included offense. An affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members is required to determine a sentence, except that a sentence of death requires a unanimous, affirmative vote of all of the members. Votes on findings and sentences shall be taken by secret, written ballot.
(g)Sentence. Upon conviction of an Accused, the Commission shall impose a sentence that is appropriate to the offense or offenses for which there was a finding of Guilty, which sentence may include death, imprisonment for life or for any lesser term, payment of a fine or restitution, or such other lawful punishment or condition of punishment as the Commission shall determine to be proper. Only a Commission of seven members may sentence an Accused to death. A Commission may (subject to rights of third parties) order confiscation of any property of a convicted Accused, deprive that Accused of any stolen property, or order the delivery of such property to the United States for disposition.
(h)Post-trial procedures -
(1)Record of Trial. Each Commission shall make a verbatim transcript of its proceedings, apart from all Commission deliberations, and preserve all evidence admitted in the trial (including any sentencing proceedings) of each case brought before it, which shall constitute the record of trial. The court reporter shall prepare the official record of trial and submit it to the Presiding Officer for authentication upon completion. The Presiding Officer shall transmit the authenticated record of trial to the Appointing Authority. If the Secretary of Defense is serving as the Appointing Authority, the record shall be transmitted to the Review Panel constituted under paragraph (h)(4) of this section.
(2)Finality of findings and sentence. A Commission finding as to a charge and any sentence of a Commission becomes final when the President or, if designated by the President, the Secretary of Defense makes a final decision thereon pursuant to section 4(c)(8) of the President's Military Order and in accordance with paragraph (h)(6) of this section. An authenticated finding of Not Guilty as to a charge shall not be changed to a finding of Guilty. Any sentence made final by action of the President or the Secretary of Defense shall be carried out promptly. Adjudged confinement shall begin immediately following the trial.
(3)Review by the Appointing Authority. If the Secretary of Defense is not the Appointing Authority, the Appointing Authority shall promptly perform an administrative review of the record of trial. If satisfied that the proceedings of the Commission were administratively complete, the Appointing Authority shall transmit the record of trial to the Review Panel constituted under paragraph (h)(4) of this section. If not so satisfied, the Appointing Authority shall return the case for any necessary supplementary proceedings.
(4)Review Panel. The Secretary of Defense shall designate a Review Panel consisting of three Military Officers, which may include civilians commissioned pursuant to section 603 of title 10, United States Code. At least one member of each Review Panel shall have experience as a judge. The Review Panel shall review the record of trial and, in its discretion, any written submissions from the Prosecution and the Defense and shall deliberate in closed conference. The Review Panel shall disregard any variance from procedures specified in this part or elsewhere that would not materially have affected the outcome of the trial before the Commission. Within thirty days after receipt of the record of trial, the Review Panel shall either:
(i) Forward the case to the Secretary of Defense with a recommendation as to disposition, or
(ii) Return the case to the Appointing Authority for further proceedings, provided that a majority of the Review Panel has formed a definite and firm conviction that a material error of law occurred.
(5)Review by the Secretary of Defense. The Secretary of Defense shall review the record of trial and the recommendation of the Review Panel and either return the case for further proceedings or, unless making the final decision pursuant to a Presidential designation under section 4(c)(8) of the President's Military Order, forward it to the President with a recommendation as to disposition.
(6)Final decision. After review by the Secretary of Defense, the record of trial and all recommendations will be forwarded to the President for review and final decision (unless the President has designated the Secretary of Defense to perform this function). If the President has so designated the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary may approve or disapprove findings or change a finding of Guilty to a finding of Guilty to a lesser-included offense, or mitigate, commute, defer, or suspend the sentence imposed or any portion thereof. If the Secretary of Defense is authorized to render the final decision, the review of the Secretary of Defense under paragraph (h)(5) of this section shall constitute the final decision.