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Court Martial Appeals Blog

This is a blog focusing on Court Martial Appeals Issues.

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Reaffirms Sexual Assault as a General Intent Crime

April 24, 2019

In United States v. McDonald, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) examined the required mens rea, or criminal intent, necessary for a conviction of sexual assault. PFC McDonald’s roommate invited a woman over to his barracks room. He told her that no one else would be in the room. The woman testified … Read more

Discharge Review

Marine’s Discharge Upgraded to Honorable After Application to Naval Discharge Review Board

March 21, 2019

You can submit an application to the Naval Discharge Review Board requesting an upgraded characterization of service. Contact us today to find out how.

court of appeals

Sailor’s Conviction for Sexual Assault for HIV-Positive Sex Upheld

March 6, 2019

In its recent decision in United States v. Forbes, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces upheld a HIV-positive sailor’s conviction for sexual assault after he had unprotected sex with four women. The Petty Officer tested positive for HIV in 2012 and was instructed to inform any future sexual partners of his status. Despite … Read more

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Reverses Itself on the Statute of Limitations in Rape Cases

February 26, 2019

Article 43(a) of the UCMJ establishes the statute of limitations for military offenses. The statute of limitations is the timeframe for prosecuting criminal offenses in military courts that applies to a particular offense. From 1986 to 2006, the military had five years from the date of most offenses to charge someone with that offense. The … Read more

Discharge Review

Court-Martial Sentencing Procedures Change in 2019

February 6, 2019

The Military Justice Act, passed in 2016, took effect on January 1, 2019. Among the many changes to military justice practice the new law includes adjustments to sentencing procedures. These changes seem primarily to address the disparity in sentences under the previous procedures. Until this year, if an accused elected to be tried by members … Read more

Court of Appeals

A New Type of Special Court-Martial Debuts in 2019

January 28, 2019

Extensive changes to military justice went into effect on January 1, 2019. One of the biggest changes was the addition of a new type of court-martial. Article 16(c)(2)(A) allows a special court-martial convening authority to refer charges to a special court-martial consisting of a military judge alone. Unlike when the charges are tried at a … Read more

Court of Appeals

Big Changes to Military Justice in 2019

January 16, 2019

In 2016, Congress passed the Military Justice Act of 2016. These significant changes to the UCMJ and the Manual for Courts-Martial came into effect on January 1, 2019. While the law did create some new offenses, the biggest changes came in the procedures associated with courts-martial. Here are some of the most important changes: 1) … Read more

CAAF Determines that Navy DJAG Improperly Influenced a Rear Admiral in Navy Seal Sexual Assault Case

September 11, 2018

In early 2014, Senior Chief Barry was charged with two specifications of sexual assault. He eventually went to trial and was convicted of one specification by a military judge. The finding and sentence came up to RADM Lorge, the Commander of Naval Region Southwest-San Diego for action. Although the Rules for Court-Martial governing the case … Read more

Court of Appeals

What is an unreasonable multiplication of charges, and why does it matter?

June 19, 2018

If you have ever read a court-martial charge sheet, you have probably wondered how one allegation of a crime could turn into five different charges. Prosecutors frequently break an incident down into multiple offenses when they prepare the charge sheet. For example, one fistfight could end up with several specifications of assault, one for each … Read more

Alleged victim’s refusal to participate in proceeding involving alleged sexual assault could lead to a speedy trial dismissal for the accused.

May 14, 2018

On 29 November 2016, Private Hendrix was charged with two specifications of sexual assault. However, the alleged victim refused to participate and testify in the proceedings. Therefore, eventually, the convening authority dismissed the charges. One day later, the alleged victim decided she did want to participate in a trial against the accused. The convening authority … Read more