Court Martial Appeals Blog
This is a blog focusing on Court Martial Appeals Issues.
In February of this year, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) issued its opinion in United States v. Briggs. It was the second CAAF decision addressing the statute of limitations in sexual assault cases issued in the last two years. This blog discussed both cases here. Essentially, the Court found that the … Read more
The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) issued an opinion in the case of United States v. English this summer that reinforced the limitations on the authority of appellate courts. Specialist English was convicted at court-martial of several specifications resulting from a violent sexual attack on his wife. He was sentenced to 23 … Read more
On June 7th, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces issued an opinion in United States v. Gonzales. This opinion reinforces how important it is for defense counsel to get objections and concerns on the record during trial. Specialist Gonzales was charged with, among other offenses, rape of a child, which requires penetration, however … Read more
Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals Overturns Sexual Assault Conviction Over Improper Search Authorizations
The Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (NMCCA) recently decided the case of United States v. Armendariz. Master Sergeant Armendariz was a member of MWSS-373 in July 2016. The majority of the squadron, along with its Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel W, were deployed at the time and MSgt Armendariz was part of the Remain Behind … Read more
Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Affirms Conviction Where Search Was Conducted Without Probable Cause
The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) recently affirmed the conviction in United States v. Perkins despite a finding by the lower court that the search of Sergeant Perkins’ home was conducted without probable cause. In 2015, a civilian woman contacted the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) onboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma … Read more
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
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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
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
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