CORE CRIMINAL LAW SUBJECTS: Burdens, Standards, Presumptions, Inferences: Appellate Presumptions, Inferences

2010 (September Term)

United States v. Sweeney, 70 M.J. 296 (there is a presumption against the waiver of constitutional rights, and for a waiver to be effective it must be clearly established that there was an intentional relinquishment of a known right or privilege). 

2008 (September Term)

United States v. Collier, 67 M.J. 347 (members are presumed to follow a military judge’s instructions to consider evidence for a proper purpose, such as bias or motive to misrepresent, and not let personal beliefs or feelings affect their determinations about witness credibility). 

2008 (Transition)

United States v. Bartlett, 66 M.J. 426 (there is a strong presumption that an error is not structural). 

United States v. Bridges, 66 M.J. 246 (as the sentencing authority, a military judge is presumed to know the law and apply it correctly absent clear evidence to the contrary). 


United States v. Brooks, 66 M.J. 221 (there is a strong presumption that an error is not structural).

United States v. Glenn, 66 M.J. 64 (an accused is presumed to be sane and counsel is presumed to be competent).   

United States v. Allende, 66 M.J. 142 (substantial omissions from the record of trial create a presumption of prejudice that may be rebutted by the government). 


United States v. Erickson, 65 M.J. 221 (military judges are presumed to know the law and to follow it absent clear evidence to the contrary; as part of this presumption, military judges are presumed to be able to distinguish between proper and improper sentencing arguments). 


United States v. Harrow, 65 M.J. 190 (court members are presumed to follow the military judge’s instructions). 


United States v. Beatty, 64 M.J. 456 (the judges of the courts of criminal appeals, as senior judge advocates, are presumed to know and correctly apply the law; the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces will impute no intent to engage in fundamental unfairness or rely upon off-limits tactics to the courts of criminal appeals). 


United States v. Young,  64 M.J. 404 (in reviewing a case for legal sufficiency, an appellate court is bound to draw every reasonable inference from the evidence of record in favor of the prosecution). 


United States v. Quintanilla, 56 MJ 37 (a panel is presumed to understand and follow the instructions of the military judge absent competent evidence to the contrary).

United States v. Tyndale, 56 MJ 209 (court members are presumed to follow the military judge’s instructions).


United States v. Taylor, 53 MJ 195 (absent evidence to the contrary, Court of Appeals may presume that members follow a military judge’s instructions).

United States v. Jenkins, 54 MJ 12 (court members are presumed to follow the military judge’s instructions).

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