Court Martial Appeals Blog
This is a blog focusing on Court Martial Appeals Issues.
From 1986 to 2006, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) listed several offenses as eligible for the death penalty. One of those offenses was rape of an adult. The UCMJ stated that offenses “punishable by death” had no statute of limitations. This meant that these types of cases could be brought to trial at … Read more
On 17 November 2020 I was privileged to argue before the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (C.A.A.F.) for the 42nd time.
The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) released its first opinion of the October 2020 term. In United States v. White, the Court upheld a military judge’s ruling excluding evidence discovered during a search.
NMCCA issued an opinion in the case of US v Lewis this week. Sgt Lewis was convicted of three specifications of failure to obey a lawful order, one specification of sexual assault by causing bodily harm, one specification of indecent viewing, and one specification of assault consummated by a battery. On appeal, Sgt Lewis argued … Read more
Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals Finds That Government Did Not Prove Sexual Assault Offenses Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
In 2018, the Marine Corps tried Cpl Lewis on several sexual assault charges. The panel convicted him of attempted sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, and sexual assault. The Government charged that these offenses occurred when the alleged victim, Cpl Alpha, was incapable of consenting due to impairment by alcohol. The panel found Cpl Lewis not … Read more
Army Court of Criminal Appeals Affirms Trial Judge’s Decision Excluding Hearsay Statements Made By Alleged Victim and Son
The Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA) recently decided the case of United States v. Henry. The case concerns the Government’s appeal of a military judge’s decision not to allow certain statements made by the alleged victim and her son at trial. Hearsay Rules of evidence generally do not allow parties to introduce hearsay statements … Read more
Navy and Marine Corps Court Finds That Military Judge Properly Granted Mistrial After Prosecutor Failed to Provide Discovery to Defense Counsel
The Navy Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals recently decided the case of United States v. Cabrera. LCpl Cabrera was part of a group of Marines that went out to several bars one evening. LCpl Romeo (not her real name) was a member of the group and became intoxicated to the point that she blacked … Read more
CAAF Finds that Defense Attorney Was Not Ineffective for Failing to Admit False Confession at Court-Martial
The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) recently decided the case of US v Carter. In 2015, Private First Class Gerald Carter was stationed at Fort Drum, New York but was temporarily assigned to Fort Polk, Louisiana. Both before and during the time that PFC Carter was in Louisiana, a Kik user with … Read more
Audio of Wednesday’s oral arguments at CAAF is available at the following links: United States v. Finch, No. 19-0298/AR (CAAFlog case page): Oral argument audio (wma)(mp3) The audio is also available on our oral argument audio podcast.
Army Court of Criminal Appeals Rejects Defense Arguments that President Trump’s Comments Unlawfully Influenced Proceedings in Bowe Bergdahl Case
Then-Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl was assigned to a combat outpost in Afghanistan in 2009 when he left the Observation Post in order to walk to a Forward Operating Post and lodge a complaint about the treatment of his platoon at the OP. Bergdahl was quickly captured by the Taliban and held captive until May … Read more