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BST UCMJ – Describe Article 31, Rights of the Accused

Describe Article 31, Rights of the Accused

Training Support Package (TSP) for the Battle Skills Test (BST)

TASK: Describe Article 31, Rights of the Accused
CONDITION: Without the aid of references STANDARD: Without omitting key components
ESTIMATED TIME TO TRAIN: 10 minutes
ESTIMATED TIME TO TEST: 1 minutes per Marine

PERFORMANCE STEPS:

1. State rights before judicial proceedings
2. State rights before non-judicial proceedings

REFERENCES:

1. JAGINST 5800.7_ – Manual of the Judge Advocate General (JAGMAN)
2. MANUAL FOR COURT MARTIAL (Current Edition)

SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS: NA

The Military Justice System

Purpose of Military Law. The Uniform Code of Military Justice embodies military law and is the military version of civilian and criminal law. It governs the actions of personnel within the military establishment. The purpose of military law is to promote good order and discipline within the military service and, provide a basis for the administration of justice for the Armed Forces.

Who is empowered to uphold the UCMJ. Those who are subject to the UCMJ are empowered to uphold the UCMJ. Article 2 further identifies the reserve and active duty population as empowered to uphold the UCMJ.

To whom the UCMJ applies. The UCMJ applies to all members of the military, including those on active duty, students at military academies, prisoners of war, and, in some cases, retired or reserve personnel. It also applies to all recruits undergoing basic training. Marines are expected to represent the model of America’s citizenry twenty-four hours a day. Obedience to military law is never optional, nor situational.

Rights of the Accused, Article 31. Article 31, which is entitled “Compulsory Self Incrimination Prohibited” means that article 31 follows the Constitutional safeguards provided by the Fifth Amendment. The service member’s privilege against self-incrimination is protected by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution and also by Article 31 of the UCMJ.

PERFORMANCE STEP 1: State rights before judicial proceedings.

The rights afforded a service member under Article 31 of the UCMJ before judicial proceedings such as courts-martial are as follows:

1. Innocent until proven guilty.

2. Remaining silent and being informed that if you do make a statement, it may be used against you in a Court-Martial. This is an absolute right and may be exercised by a suspect at any time. Even if a suspect initially decides to answer the investigators questions, he may invoke his right to remain silent at any time.

3. Being represented by a lawyer. The attorney may be either civilian or military. If the attorney is a civilian then the suspect must pay for it out of their own pocket. However, a military attorney will be provided at no expense. Furthermore, the suspect has the right to have an attorney present during any questioning.

4. Being protected from double jeopardy. Any Marine tried for any offense can only be tried once for that particular offense.

5. Calling witnesses on your behalf. A Marine may call on any person that can testify on his or her behalf.

6. Having the sentence reviewed. If a Marine believes that any punishment received from a Court- Martial is unjust or disproportionate to the offense committed, they may request that the sentence be reviewed by the next higher convening authority. Any sentence imposed at a Court-Martial may be reduced or let stand by a review, but may never be increased.

7. Having a speedy trial. There are certain time constraints that are imposed as to how long a Court- Martial can be put off after an offense has been alleged.

8. Being informed of all charges against you.

9. Having the assistance of an interpreter. If a Marine does not understand or speak English well, an interpreter may be appointed in order to ensure they understand the charges and proceedings against them.

10. Being protected against illegal searches and seizures.

11. Challenging members of the court. If a Marine thinks either the judge or any member of the jury may be biased against them, and the judge agrees, they may have that member removed from the proceedings.

12. Having enlisted representation on Special and General Courts-Martial, a Marine has the right to have at least one-third of the jury to be composed of enlisted members.

13. Being tried by a military judge alone. A jury is not mandatory in Special and General Courts- Martial. A member may choose to be tried by a military judge standing alone.

PERFORMANCE STEP 2: State rights before non-judicial proceedings.

Although non-judicial punishment doesn’t impose as severe punishments, and is not as complex, as a court-martial, a Marine still has certain rights before these proceedings. A Marine’s rights before Non-Judicial Punishment include, but are not limited to the right to:

1. Be informed in accordance with Article 31 of his right against self-incrimination.

2. Be accompanied by a spokesperson provided or arranged for by the member unless the punishment to be imposed will not exceed extra duty for fourteen days, restriction for fourteen days, and or oral reprimand.

3. Be informed of the evidence relating to the offenses alleged.

4. Be allowed to examine the member in which the commander intends to rely on.

5. Have witnesses present.

6. Present matters in extenuation and mitigation.

7. Have the proceedings open to the public unless the commander determines otherwise.

Describe Article 31, Rights of the Accused
Evaluation Checklist

MARINE BEING EVALUATED:

EVALUATOR:

DATE:

SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS: N/A

EVALUATOR NOTE: Marines must perform both of the steps below without omitting key components in order to pass this event. Evaluators will ask Marines questions to guide them through the performance steps.

Performance Step Instructor Notes Pass or Remediate
1. State rights before judicial proceedings Marine should state at least three of the following rights:
1. Innocent until proven guilty.
2. Remaining silent and being informed that if you do make a statement, it may be used against you in a court-martial.
3. Representation by a lawyer.
4. Protected from double jeopardy.
5. Calling witnesses on their behalf.
6. Having the sentence reviewed.
7. Having a speedy trial.
8. Informed of all charges.
9. Having the assistance of an appointed interpreter if a Marine does not understand or speak English well.
10. Protected against illegal searches and seizures.
11. Challenging members of the court.
12. Having enlisted representation on special and general courts-martial.
13. Tried by a military judge alone.
2. State rights before NJP Marine should state at least three of the following:
1. Informed of right against self-incrimination.
2. Accompanied by a spokesperson.
3. Informed of the evidence relating to the alleged offenses.
4. Be allowed to examine the member in which the commander intends to rely on.
5. Have witnesses present.
6. Present matters in extenuation and mitigation.
7. Have the proceedings open to the public unless the commander determines otherwise.