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Court of Inquiry - 14135_367
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Line of Duty/Misconduct Determinations - 14135_369
investigate  a  claim  under  Article  139,  UCMJ,  and JAGMAN,  chapter  II,  an  investigation  does  not  possess the power to subpoena civilian witnesses. USES OF THE RECORD OF INVESTIGATION If an individual is accorded the rights of a party with respect  to  the  act  or  omission  under  investigation, punishment  may  be  imposed  without  further proceedings. The individual may, however, submit any matter  in  defense,  extenuation,  or  mitigation. If an individual has not been accorded the rights of a party, a hearing conducted according to paragraph 4 of part V, Manual  for  Courts-Martial  (MCM),  1984,  must  be conducted before punishment is imposed. In  cases  where  a  GCM  is  contemplated,  it  is sometimes  possible  to  use  the  record  of  a  court  of inquiry instead of a formal pretrial investigation of the offenses. If a court of inquiry is used in place of an Article  32,  UCMJ,  investigation,  the  accused  can demand   to   recall   witnesses   for   further cross-examination and to offer any new evidence on his or  her  own  behalf.  Normally,  the  convening  of  a separate Article 32, UCMJ, investigation is the most efficient method for bringing an accused to trial. Sworn  testimony  contained  in  the  record  of proceedings  of  a  court  of  inquiry  or  investigation required to conduct a hearing before which an accused was not designated as a party may not be received in evidence  against  the  accused  unless  that  testimony  is admissible  independently  of  the  provisions  of  Article 50, UCMJ. A party is entitled to a copy of the record of an Article 32, UCMJ, pretrial investigation where trial by GCM  has  been  ordered,  subject  to  the  regulations applicable  to  classified  material.  If  a  letter  of  censure or other nonjudicial punishment (NJP) is imposed, the party upon whom it was imposed has a right to have access to a copy of the record in order to appeal. SELECTION OF FACT-FINDING BODIES Deciding   which   type   of   fact-finding   body   to convene  depends  upon  the  purpose  of  the  inquiry,  the relative  seriousness  of  the  subject  under  inquiry,  the complexity  of  the  factual  issues  involved,  the  time allotted for completion of the investigation, and the nature and extent of powers required to conduct the investigation. The type of fact-finding body selected is left to the judgment and discretion of the officer in command.  Before  convening  an  investigation,  the  CA must consider the powers the fact-finding body will require and the desirability of designating parties. If the subject  of  the  inquiry  involves  disputed  issues  of  fact and a risk of substantial injustice if an individual is not afforded the rights of a party, a court of inquiry or an investigation  required  to  conduct  a  hearing  should  be ordered. If  the  ability  to  subpoena  witnesses  is necessary, a court of inquiry should be convened. If the subject of the investigation is a major incident, a court of inquiry should be convened. For less serious cases, an investigation not requiring a hearing will normally  be  adequate. Section  0202a(3)  of  the  JAGMAN  describes  a major incident as “An extraordinary incident occurring during  the  course  of  official  duties  resulting  in  (1) multiple deaths, (2) substantial property loss, or (3) substantial  harm  to  the  environment  where  the circumstances  suggest  a  significant  departure  from  the expected  level  of  professionalism,  leadership, judgment, communication, state of material readiness, or  other  relevant  standard.”  These  cases  are  often accompanied  by  national  public/press  interest  and significant congressional attention, as well as having the potential of undermining public confidence in the naval service. It may be apparent when first reported that the case is a major incident, or it may emerge as additional facts become known. Notwithstanding the fact that a death case maybe a major  incident  as  defined,  the  circumstances surrounding the death or resulting media attention may warrant   the   convening   of   a   court   of   inquiry   or investigation  required  to  conduct  a  hearing  as  the appropriate  means  of  investigating  the  incident. The  first  flag  or  general  officer  exercising  general court-martial convening authority over the incident or in the chain of command, or any superior flag or general officer, takes immediate control over the case as the CA. If  the  CA  determines  that  an  incident  initially  considered major is not, or that a court of inquiry is not warranted under the circumstances, those conclusions must be reported to the next flag or general officer in the chain of command before any other type of investigation is convened. Because   investigating   major   incidents   are sometimes complicated by the premature appointment of a board of inquiry or investigation required to conduct a  hearing,  the  CA  may  wish  to  initially  convene  a one-officer  investigation  not  required  to  conduct  a hearing  to  immediately  begin  to  collect  and  preserve 13-18

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