Courts-Martial

Courts-Martial / Military Trials

My forensic services for military courts-martial can include:

  1. Forensic evaluations for a Defendant’s Past, Present and Future
    • Past: Assist in an RCM 706 Inquiry regarding the Defendant’s state-of-mind / mens rea at the time of the instant event.
    • Current: Assist in an RCM 706 Inquiry regarding the Defendant’s current competency.
    • Future: Assist in identifying future risk for sexual re-offense or physical violence.
  2. Expert testimony addressing psycho-legal questions before the trier-of-fact.
  3. Trial Consultation for a legal team (government or defense) in trial preparation and support during the course of the trial.

Here is an elaboration of these three services.

I. Forensic Evaluations

I provide forensic evaluations through:

  • Psychosocial interview
  • Psychological testing
  • Collateral information (prior reports, testing, interviews with family and friends)
  • Reference scholarly resources (publications, research studies)
  • Professional training and experience
  • Differential diagnosis (DSM-5)

II. Expert Testimony

Common psychological testimony I provide in state, federal and military courts.

  1. Memory –
    1. Alcohol Blackouts
    2. Contamination/Taint/Reconstruction Errors
  2. Suggestibility
  3. Sex crimes – perpetration against children and adults, non-contact child porn offense, and luring/solicitation
  4. Sexual Assault Symptomatology or lack thereof, counter-intuitive behaviors
  5. Domestic Violence/Coercive Control
  6. Child Testimony
  7. Coerced Confessions and Voluntariness of Consent
  8. Risk Assessment/Recidivism

III. Trial Consultation

In the course of a court-martial, I am able to assist the legal team:

  1. With the interview of witnesses.
  2. Act as a “sounding-board” for practicing opening and closing statements.
  3. Conduct a risk-assessment of the defendant regarding future risk for sex offense or violence.
  4. Assist with voir dire of prospective members.
  5. Alert the team to the range of professional competencies demonstrated by the adverse expert, particularly if errors, biases, competencies affect their opinions negatively.
  6. Help with a motion for inadmissibility of the other expert’s work, including a Daubert challenge.
  7. Find appropriate contradictory research.
  8. Provide alternate testing or interpretation of testing.
  9. Help assemble a list of questions to ask of the adverse expert and/or witnesses.
  10. Assist in debriefing the accused or victim(s) at the conclusion of sentencing.

Specific legal questions I am available to assist with:

  1. RCM 706 – Inquiry into an accused’s lack of mental responsibility for an offense or capacity to stand trial.
  2. MRE 404b – Use of evidence of other crimes, wrongs, and bad acts.
  3. MRE 412 – The “rape shield law” relating to past sexual behavior of an alleged victim.
  4. MRE 413/414 – Past similar sex crimes against adults and children.
  5. MRE 513 – Psychotherapist-patient privilege and the release of mental health records.

Retaining Services for Court-martial

  1. Retaining my forensic services typically begins with an email from the military legal office’s support staff inquiring as to my calendar availability.
  2. If I am available for the court dates, I request a telephonic conversation with the area counsel (government or defense) to determine the general nature of the case and whether I have the appropriate knowledge base and skill sets to be of help.
  3. If counsel and I are in agreement, a MOA is signed and returned to the legal office.
  4. I request 10 hours of pretrial preparation, though I usually only use 2-3 hours. I use this preparation time to consult with counsel, review records (Form 40s, 1168s, 706 Inquiry, etc.).
  5. I most often fly out on a Saturday morning and “hit the ground running” with the trial team that afternoon. Typically we’ll discuss the current theory of the case, latest developments, and begin interviews. This continues on Sunday and I often serve as a “sounding-board” for practicing the opening statement.
  6. I am available to conduct a psychosexual risk or violence risk assessment for the defense team.
  7. Usually Monday morning is taken up with pre-trial motions. After this I assist the trial team with voir dire of prospective members.
  8. During the course of the trial I keep notes on witness’s testimony, help with a motion for inadmissibility of the other expert’s opinion (if that is in question), find appropriate contradictory research when available, provide alternate testing or interpretation of testing, and help assemble a list of questions to ask of the adverse expert and/or witnesses.
  9. At sentencing I am able to provide aggravating / mitigating testimony.
  10. At the close of the trial I assist in debriefing the accused or victim(s).