DA PAM 27–9

Military Judges’ Benchbook

This revised Department of the Army Pamphlet incorporates the substantive  criminal law found in the Manual for Courts-Martial, through the 2008 Edition; decisions of military and higher courts; and comments and opinions of individual legal specialists on criminal law.  Highlighted below are some of the changes to the 2001 edition of this Benchbook:

  • Conforms the Article 111 instruction (Drunken or Reckless Operation of a Vehicle, Aircraft or Vessel) to recent amendments of 10 USC Section 911 regarding the blood / breath alcohol limits.
  • Adds a missing portion of an element for Desertion with Intent to Shirk Important Service.
  • Amends the Article 134 instruction (Adultery) to conform to 2002 changes to the Manual for Courts-Martial.
  • Adds a quick reference list of Evidentiary Instructions to the beginning of Chapter 7.
  • To conform to recent case law:

— Clarifies Vicarious Liability – Principals and Co-conspirators (instruction 7-1) and Principals – Aiding and Abetting (instruction 7-1-1) that the aider and abettor need not agree with, or even know of, the means by which the perpetrator is to carry out the shared criminal intent.

— Clarifies the Article 93 instruction (Cruelty and Maltreatment) that there is no requirement for actual physical or mental harm or suffering by the victim.

— Adds an additional reference to the Article 134 instruction (Obstructing Justice).

— Removes the term ―ineradicable‖ when discussing the stigma associated with punitive discharges.

— Amends the Article 130 instruction (Housebreaking) instruction to include the Williams factors the fact finder may consider when deciding if the accused’s entry was unlawful, including the accused’s intent upon entry.

— Amends the Article 126 instructions (Arson — Aggravated — Inhabited Dwelling; Arson — Aggravated — Structure; and Arson — Simple) to clarify that an accused can be guilty of aggravated arson of his own property.
Also clarifies that the accused need not specifically intend to burn or char the property burned or charred, so long as the accused willfully and maliciously started the fired that resulted in the burning or charring.

  • Corrects minor typographical errors.

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