Article 66(c), UCMJ, mandates that the lower appellate courts review the legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence and affirm only those findings of guilty which this court finds correct in law and in fact. United States v. Turner, 25 M.J. 324 (C.M.A. 1987); United States v. Gilchrist, 61 M.J. 785, 793 (A. Ct. Crim. App. 2005).
The court reviews the legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence de novo. Gilchrist, 61 M.J. at 793 (citing United States v. Washington, 57 M.J. 394, 399 (C.A.A.F. 2002)). Such a review involves a fresh, impartial look at the evidence, giving no deference to the decision of the trial court on factual sufficiency. Washington, 57 M.J. 394 at 399.
The term “reasonable doubt” does not mean that the evidence must be free from conflict. United States v. Reed, 51 M.J. 559, 562 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. 1999), aff’d, 54 M.J. 37 (C.A.A.F. 2000).
The test for legal sufficiency is “whether, considering the evidence in a light most favorable to the prosecution, a reasonable fact-finder could have found all the essential elements beyond a reasonable doubt.” United States v. Walters, 58 M.J. 391 (C.A.A.F. 2003); United States v. Pabon, 42 M.J. 404, 405 (C.A.A.F. 1995) (quoting Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319 (1979)).
The test for factual sufficiency is, “whether after weighing the evidence in the record of trial, and making allowances for not having personally observed the witnesses, [this Court is] convinced of [appellant’s] guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.” Walters, 58 M.J. at 396 (citing Turner, 25 M.J. at 325)). The court must be convinced of appellant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Turner, 25 M.J. at 325.
“In sum, to sustain appellant’s conviction, [the Court] must find that the government has proven all essential elements and, taken together as a whole, the parcels of proof credibly and coherently demonstrate that appellant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” Gilchrist, 61 M.J. at 793 (citing United States v. Roukis, 60 M.J. 925, 930 (A. Ct. Crim. App. 2005)).
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