TITLE 30
Military Affairs and Defense

CHAPTER 30-13
Rhode Island Code of Military Justice

SECTION 30-13-68


§ 30-13-68 Review of records.

(a) If the convening authority is the governor, his or her action on the review of any record of trial is final.

(b) In all other cases not covered by subsection (a) of this section, if the sentence of a special court-martial as approved in accordance with the provisions of § 30-13-62 includes a bad-conduct discharge, whether or not suspended, the entire record shall be sent to the appropriate staff judge advocate or legal officer of the next higher command not having previously reviewed the record pursuant to § 30-13-62, if any there be, to be reviewed in the same manner as a record of trial by general court-martial. The record and the opinion of the staff judge advocate or legal officer shall then be sent to the state judge advocate for review.

(c) All other special and summary court-martial records shall be sent to the law specialist or legal officer of the appropriate force of the state military forces and shall be acted upon, transmitted, and disposed of as may be prescribed by regulations prescribed by the governor.

(d) The state judge advocate shall review the record of trial in each case sent to him or her for review as provided under subsection (b) of this section. If the final action of the court-martial has resulted in an acquittal of all charges and specifications, the opinion of the state judge advocate is limited to questions of jurisdiction.

(e) The state judge advocate shall take final action in any case reviewable by him or her.

(f) In a case reviewable by the state judge advocate under this section, the state judge advocate may act only with respect to the findings and sentence as approved by the convening authority. The state judge advocate may affirm only such findings of guilty, and the sentence or such a part or amount of the sentence, as he or she finds correct in law and fact and determines, on the basis of the entire record, should be approved. In considering the record, the state judge advocate may weigh the evidence, judge the credibility of witnesses, and determine controverted questions of fact, recognizing that the trial court saw and heard the witnesses. If the state judge advocate sets aside the findings and sentence, he or she may, except where the setting aside is based on lack of sufficient evidence in the record to support the findings, order a rehearing. If the state judge advocate sets aside the findings and sentence and does not order a rehearing, he or she shall order that the charges be dismissed.

(g) In a case reviewable by the state judge advocate under this section, he or she shall instruct the convening authority to act in accordance with his or her decision on the review. If the state judge advocate has ordered a rehearing but the convening authority finds a rehearing impracticable within a reasonable time, he or she shall dismiss the charges.

(h) The state judge advocate may order one or more boards of review each composed of not less than three (3) commissioned officers of the state military forces, each of whom must be a member of the bar of the highest court of the state. Each board of review shall review the record of any trial by special court-martial, including a sentence to a bad-conduct discharge, referred to it by the state judge advocate. Boards of review have the same authority on review as the state judge advocate has under this section.

History of Section.
(G.L. 1956, § 30-13-68; P.L. 1962, ch. 82, § 1.)