What if a Prosecutor Denies My Witness in a Court-Martial?
In the military justice system, the defense is entitled to all relevant and necessary witnesses. But unlike in the civilian world, the military defense counsel has to make a request for all defense witnesses through the prosecutor’s office. Initially, the prosecutor may send back a response that denies one, two, or even all of the witnesses that the defense has requested. Rest assured that that is not the end of the case.
If the military prosecutor denies one or more witnesses that the defense believes are relevant and necessary, that military defense attorney has to take the issue up with the judge in the form of a motion, specifically, a motion to compel the production of those witnesses. And if the defense counsel has done what they should have, which is to justify specifically why those witnesses are needed in specifically tailoring it to what offenses it is that that person is relevant to, the military judge will overrule the prosecutor’s decision, and they will compel the government to produce those witnesses.
In the rare case that the military prosecutor refuses to produce the witnesses, the military judge has the authority and will abate the proceedings; that means, stop and arrest the case in its entirety until those witnesses are produced.
For questions about court-martial defense, contact the Law Office of Jocelyn C. Stewart at 1-888-252-0927.