is not issued Article 31 rights, statements he or she makes cannot be used against him or her in a court of law.
Who Must Give Warnings
Article 31 says "...no person subject to this Chapter may compel any other...." The Court of Military Appeals
defines these persons as--
Law enforcement officers.
Circumstances of Questioning
When considering the rights warning issue, the Court of Military Appeals examines the circumstances of the
questioning. It also examines the status of the person doing the questioning and the purpose behind the
questioning. This is in keeping with Article 31. As a result, statements made between private individuals are not
protected by Article 31.
There are personnel not covered by Article 31. Undercover personnel are not covered because none of the
coercive circumstances which form the basis for the rule are present. However, if the undercover agent tried to
avoid the rule and interrogate someone without giving the warnings, statements made by the suspect would be
protected by Article 31. These statements would not be admissible evidence. This undercover exception does not
apply in a custodial situation. In fact, a court may require Article 31 rights be read to a subject in custody before
any conversation takes place. This is to ensure that any statement made by the person in custody be admissible as
testimonial evidence in court. It also does not apply when the subject has retained an attorney for the case being
Article 31 requires three warnings. Reading Article 31 rights must include all three warnings. They are--
The nature of the accusation.
The right to remain silent.
That any statement made can be used against him or her.
Notice here that the right to have an attorney present during interrogation is not listed. The right to an attorney
resulted from the law case of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that
the right to remain silent was secured if the suspect had a lawyer present during interrogation. This is applicable
to custodial interrogation and consultation before questioning. Later, the MIRANDA decision was applied to
military law through the case of the U.S. v. Tempia, 16 CMR 629, 37 CMA 249 (1967). Based on the TEMPIA
case, a suspect must be advised of the following rights: