Bradley Manning has been accused of unauthorized access to classified material and was charged, July 5, 2010, with eight violations of federal criminal law and transmitting classified information to an unauthorized third party. According to, David E Coombs, Army Court-Martial Defense Specialist, Manning’s right to a speedy trial may have been violated and a motion to dismiss may be upheld by case law because, “R.C.M. 707 provides that charges against an accused must be dismissed if they are not brought to trial within 120 days of the earlier of preferral, pretrial confinement, or recall to active duty under R.C.M. 204”.
The Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial is applied to military jurisprudence through two separate and distinct provisions– Rule for Court-Martial (R.C.M.) 707 and Article 10 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) (10 U.S.C. § 810). While both provisions seek to protect the same constitutional right, and while there is considerable overlap between the two, each provision has separate rules regarding when the protections attach and when they are breached.
Whether stemming from R.C.M. 707 or from Article 10 UCMJ, a motion to dismiss for lack of a speedy trial must be raised before the court-martial is adjourned, and it is waived by a guilty plea, as provided in R.C.M. 907(b)(2)(A) and 905(e). Once the issue is raised, the burden of persuasion rests with the government. R.C.M. 905(c)(2)(B). Before hearing on the motion, the parties may stipulate as to undisputed facts and dates of relevant pretrial events. The stipulation will provide the court a chronology detailing the processing of the case. R.C.M. 707(c)(2).
So, why hasn’t Manning been tried and where is that motion to dismiss?