MILITARY JUSTICE PERSONNEL: Convening Authority: Clemency

2009 (September Term)

United States v. Nerad, 69 M.J. 138 (while the CCA clearly has the authority to disapprove part or all of the sentence and findings, nothing suggests that Congress intended to provide the CCAs with unfettered discretion to do so for any reason, for no reason, or on equitable grounds, which is a function of the command prerogative of the convening authority).


(granting mercy for any reason or no reason is within the purview of the convening authority).


(decisions not to prosecute or to grant requests for clemency are matters of command prerogative, and, as such, are for the convening authority, not the CCA). 

2008 (Transition)

United States v. Scott, 66 M.J. 1 (the convening authority is presumed to know the difference between clemency materials and evidence adduced at trial). 



United States v. Lee, 50 MJ 296 (even though appellant’s offenses predated the effective date of Article 58b, thus not being subject to automatic forfeiture, the convening authority still had the power to remit or suspend any or all of the adjudged forfeitures as a matter of clemency).

(convening authority remains the accused’s best hope for sentence relief).

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