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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 130.51
Voting and rulings
Military (MIL) CHAPTER 36, ARTICLE 7, PART 7
§ 130.51. Voting and rulings. (a) Voting by members of a general or
special court-martial on the findings and on the sentence, and by
members of a court-martial without a military judge upon questions of
challenge, shall be by secret written ballot. The junior member of the
court shall in each case count the votes, which count shall be checked
by the president, who shall forthwith announce the result of the ballot
to the members of the court.

(b) The military judge and, except for questions of challenge, the
president of a court-martial without a military judge shall rule on all
questions of law and all interlocutory questions arising during the
proceedings. Any such ruling made by the military judge upon any
question of law or any interlocutory question other than the factual
issue of mental responsibility of the accused, or by the president of a
court-martial without a military judge upon any question of law other
than a motion for finding of not guilty, is final and constitutes the
ruling of a court. However, the military judge or the president of a
court-martial without a military judge may change his ruling at any time
during the trial. Unless such ruling be final, if any member objects
thereto, the court shall be cleared and closed and the question decided
by a vote as provided in section 130.52, viva voce, beginning with the
junior in rank.

(c) Before a vote is taken on the findings, the military judge or the
president of a court-martial without a military judge shall, in the
presence of the accused and counsel, instruct the members of the court
as to the elements of the offense and charge them--

(1) that the accused must be presumed to be innocent until his guilt
is established by legal and competent evidence beyond reasonable doubt;

(2) that in the case being considered, if there is a reasonable doubt
as to the guilt of the accused, the doubt shall be resolved in favor of
the accused and he shall be acquitted;

(3) that if there is a reasonable doubt as to the degree of guilt, the
finding must be in a lower degree as to which there is no reasonable
doubt; and

(4) that the burden of proof to establish the guilt of the accused
beyond reasonable doubt is upon the state.

(d) Subdivisions (a), (b) and (c) do not apply to a court-martial
composed of a military judge only. The military judge of such a
court-martial shall determine all questions of law and fact arising
during the proceedings and, if the accused is convicted, adjudge an
appropriate sentence. The military judge of such a court-martial shall
make a general finding and shall in addition on request find the facts
specially. If an opinion or memorandum of decision is filed, it will be
sufficient if the findings of fact appear therein.