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Page Title: Pretrial Preparation
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block 14 in part V on page 2 of the charge sheet. The referral is executed personally by the CA. It explicitly details the type of court to which the case is being referred (SCM, SPCM, GCM) and the specific court to which the case is being referred. A  court-martial  can  only  hear  a  case  properly referred  to  it.  The  simplest  and  most  accurate  way  to describe the correct court is to use the serial number and date of the order creating that court. Thus, the referral might read “referred for trial to the summary court-martial appointed by my summary court- mar- tial convening order 1-CY dated 17 July 19CY.” This language  precisely  identifies  a  particular  kind  of court-martial and the particular SCM to try the case. In addition, the referral on page 2 of the charge sheet should show any particular instructions applica- ble to the case. These instructions could include state- ments  such  as  confinement  is  not  an  authorized punishment  in  this  case  or  any  other  instructions  de- sired by the CA. If no instructions apply to the par- ticular case, the referral should so indicate by use of the word  None in  the  appropriate  blank.  Once  the referral is properly executed, the case is referred to trial. Send the case file to the proper SCM officer for further  action. PRETRIAL  PREPARATION After charges are referred to trial by SCM, and all case  materials  are  sent  to  the  proper  SCM  officer,  he or she is responsible for preparing the case for trial. Preliminary Preparation Upon receipt of the charges and accompanying papers, the SCM officer begins preparation for trial. The  charge  sheet  is  carefully  examined,  and  all  obvi- ous  administrative,  clerical,  and  typographical  errors are corrected. The SCM officer initials each correc- tion he or she makes on the charge sheet. If there are so many errors as to require preparation of a new charge  sheet,  reswearing  of  the  charges  and  re-referral are required. If the SCM officer changes an existing specification to include any new person, offense, or matter not fairly included in the original specification, the  new  specification  must  be  resworn  and  re-re- ferred.  The  SCM  officer  continues  with  his  or  her examination of the charge sheet to determine the cor- rectness  and  completeness  of  the  information  on pages 1 and 2. Pretrial Conference With the Accused After initial review of the court-martial file, the SCM  officer  meets  with  the  accused  in  a  pretrial conference.  This  section  discusses  the  accused’s  right to counsel later in this chapter. If the accused elects representation by counsel, all dealings with the ac- cused are through his or her counsel. Thus, the ac- cused’s counsel, if any, should be invited to attend the pretrial   conference.   At the pretrial conference, the SCM  officer  follows  the  suggested  guide  found  in appendix 9, MCM, 1984, and documents the fact that all applicable rights were explained to the accused. This  is  done  by  completing  blocks  4  and  5  on  the Record of Trial by Summary Court-Martial, DD Form 2329. Purpose The purpose of the pretrial conference is to pro- vide the accused with information on the nature of the court-martial, the procedure to be used, and his or her rights  with  respect  to  that  procedure.  No  attempt should be made by the SCM officer to interrogate the accused   or   otherwise   discuss   the   merits   of   the charges. The proper time to deal with the merits of the accusations against the accused is at trial. The SCM officer provides the accused with a meaningful and thorough briefing so the accused fully understands the court-martial process and his or her rights pertaining to that process. Advice to Accused—Rights The SCM officer advises the accused of the fol- lowing matters: . The general nature of the charges . The fact that the charges have been referred to an SCM for trial and the date of referral l The identity of the CA l The name of the accuser . The name of the witnesses who could be called to testify and any documents or physical evidence that the SCM officer expects to introduce into evidence l  The  accused’s  right  to  inspect  the  allied  papers and  immediately  available  personnel  records c That during the trial the SCM officer will not consider any matters including statements previously made by the accused to the officer detailed as SCM 7-4

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