Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Respondents.
Argument: First, there must be a specific reason not to apply the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution to servicemembers. As there is no issue of military importance that excludes servicemembers from the protections of the Eighth Amendment, rape of an adult cannot be an “offense punishable by death.” Under the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the Eighth Amendment, the crime of rape of an adult cannot be punishable by death. Petitioner has not met its burden to provide a military-specific exception for the application of the Eighth Amendment to servicemembers. Here, the Petitioner offers policy prescriptions and “national security” reasons which are insufficient to deprive a service-member of his or her constitutional rights. Further, canons of statutory interpretation require that Article 43 must be read to protect applicable constitutional rights. Specifically, sections in the same statutory scheme should be read in pari materia, or interpreted together. Article 43, at the time of Respondents’ alleged offenses, had no statute of limitations for crimes punishable by death, including rape, but established a five-year limitation otherwise; however, Article 55 prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, mirroring the Eighth Amendment. Applying Supreme Court precedent that precludes death as a punishment for rape of an adult, Article 43 read in conjunction with Article 55 requires that rape was subject to a five-year statute of limitations at the time of the alleged offenses. Lastly, civilian law must inform the interpretation of the UCMJ. The CAAF may not freely disregard Supreme Court precedent without a “legitimate military necessity or distinction.” Therefore, the CAAF’s decision to reverse Respondents’ convictions should be affirmed.
Table of Contents Included in Document
Memorandum in Support of Habeas Petition in Child Sex Abuse Case
Open Records Request
Letter to Defense Expert
Application for Writ of Habeas Corpus
Moiton for New Trial
Motion for Issuance and Enforcement of Subpoena for Additional Medical Records
Ruling on Motion for New Trial and Ruling by Georgia Court of Appeals
Argument: With proper investigation, preparation, and presentation by the defense in this case, there is absolutely overwhelming evidence that supports Mr. Nowill's total innocence. Mr. Nowill is presently seven years into the service of his sentence of thirty years in prison because, to date, no sitting judge or sitting jury had presented to them the complete evidence in this case for their consideration. Mr. Nowill is, in fact, innocent.
Mr. Nowill is the father of the alleged victim, Heather Nowill. On August 13, 2000, Heather, then aged 16, claimed that her father had been having a sexual relationship with her over the previous four years since she was 12 years old. She claimed this sexual relationship involved digital penetration of her vagina, mutual oral sex between she and her father, and full acts of sexual intercourse with complete and full penetration of her vagina by her father's penis occurring 3 to 4 times weekly for the duration of the 4 year period of time. Stunned when he first confronted with these allegations on the day of her outcry, and continuing for 2 years including his testimony before the jury in this case, Mr. Nowill denied any sexual contact with his daughter and consistently has maintained his innocence.
On the day of her alleged outcry Heather was required to undergo a medical examination at University Hospital. The complete report of this examination was not provided to trial counsel by the State. Trial counsel did not independently request of subpoena the medical records of the examination. The State did not call the doctors who performed the medical examination to testify in the trial. Also, despite the extensive and ongoing allegations of intercourse by Heather, trial counsel did not request or subpoena the medical records from her regular doctor throughout the period of time in question. With virtually nothing except the word of the alleged victim the case proceeded to trial. Even law enforcement personnel admitted there was absolutely no physical evidence to support the allegation.
Motion for the production of testimony put before the grand jury in support of the charges of drug distribution, or conspiracy to distribute drugs with the intent to commit rape. This testimony is sought to “avoid a possible injustice”: Nunez’s status as the subject of a prosecution that is not supported by any evidence.
NACDL amicus curiae brief in support of certiorari.
Argument: Brief argues that since convictions for child rape often rest solely on the testimony of children, and that research explains that child testimony is frequently unreliable, the risk of innocent persons receiving the death penalty is unacceptable; the Court has consistently held that the Eighth Amendment demands heightened reliability in capital cases.