Army Lawyer and former Judge Lieutenant Colonel Matthew McDonald caught red handed in prosecutorial misconduct

Army Lawyer and former Judge Lieutenant Colonel Matthew McDonald caught red handed in prosecutorial misconduct.

From the Daily Caller…”whom it identified in its opinion as Lt. Col. Matthew McDonald, acted improperly.

And what did the Army prosecutor do? According to Judge Kevin Ohlson, who concurred in part and dissented in part, McDonald committed four kinds of prosecutorial misconduct.

First, he used “personal pronouns throughout the findings argument.” Second, he made “propensity arguments [that were not] fair inferences derived from the trial evidence.” Third, he engaged in “ad hominem attacks” against the defendant. And finally, he “made inflammatory statements that were predicated on facts not in evidence.”

Law students who take trial advocacy are taught not to engage in this kind of blatant misconduct. Lawyers in the JAG Corps are members of at least one state bar, and are bound by their state bar’s ethics rules, JAG ethics rules, and the American Bar Association’s Standards for Criminal Justice Prosecution Function. Properly trained JAGs certainly should know better.

Ohlson notes in a footnote that McDonald was a senior officer who was “designated as a special victim’s prosecutor,” and that he previously served as a military trial judge. The scathing footnote intones, “Presumably, a person of that rank and that position would have received significant training and courtroom experience before prosecuting a case such as this one.”

These are actions that career civilian prosecutors learn to eschew early in their career in order to avoid jeopardizing a case.

For a trial counsel this “experienced” to make such improper statements indicates that the lack of a career litigation track is again failing the Army, the Air Force, military prosecutors and defense lawyers, and victims and defendants in the military justice system.” The Daily Signal

It was reported to SOH back in May that Lt Col Matthew McDonald attempted to coerce and threatened several defense witnesses before a court martial. It is very likely the crimes committed by this Army prosecutor goes much deeper.

Read the full story at http://dailysignal.com/2017/02/21/latest-case-of-jag-malpractice-shows-pressing-need-for-reform/

 

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