Air Force Reservist successfully appeals court-martial convictions based on jurisdiction.
Under Article 2(a) of the U.C.M.J., a reservist can only be subject to a court-martial if the government shows that he or she was serving on inactive duty training or was otherwise serving on active duty during the time of the offense. At his court-martial, Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Morita was charged with forging hundreds of documents relating to his reserve duty orders, allowing him to collect money that he was not entitled to. He was convicted of forging 510 signatures on more than 100 documents. However, recently in January 2014, in U.S. v. Morita, the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (AFCCA) found that only 178 of the 510 signatures occurred while LTC Morita was serving in an active duty status. Therefore, AFCCA found that the government did not have jurisdiction over most of the signatures charged at the court-martial. As a result, AFCCA reassessed LTC Morita’s court-martial sentence and reduced it dramatically. If you are facing a court-martial and you are not sure that the government has jurisdiction over your offense, I can help. I have the experience you need and I will know what the best arguments are in your specific court-martial and/or appeal. To speak to an experienced court-martial and military defense attorney, call Bill Cassara at 706-860-5769 for a free consultation.