TRIAL STAGES: Appeals: Cumulative Error

2010 (September Term)

United States v. Flores, 69 M.J. 366 (it is well established that an appellate court can order a rehearing based on the accumulation of errors not reversible individually). 


(appellate courts are far less likely to find cumulative error where the record contains overwhelming evidence of an accused’s guilt; in this case, with respect to the errors found, there was not a reasonable possibility that, taken cumulatively, the errors might have contributed to the conviction where the evidence of appellant’s guilt was indeed overwhelming). 

United States v. Pope, 69 M.J. 328 (under the cumulative-error doctrine, a number of errors, no one perhaps sufficient to merit reversal, in combination necessitate the disapproval of a finding; an appellate court will reverse only if it finds the cumulative errors denied appellant a fair trial). 


United States v. Gray, 51 MJ 1 (cumulative error is premised on the existence of errors, no one of which merits reversal, but in combination they necessitate the reversal of a finding or sentence; however, assertions of error without merit are not sufficient to invoke the doctrine of cumulative error).

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