Court Martial Appeals Blog

This is a blog focusing on Court Martial Appeals Issues.

air force drug conviction

Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces to Hear Army Mistrial Case

March 16, 2022

In September 2020, 1st Lieutenant Badders was tried at Fort Hood, Texas by a panel of officers. He was found guilty of one specification of sexual assault. While the members were deliberating on the case, the defense counsel became aware of an article published in several on-line news sources concerning a high-profile Soldier suicide at … Read more

Navy-Marine Corps Court Sets Aside Guilty Finding as Factually Insufficient

February 18, 2022

Article 66 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice establishes the Service Courts of Criminal Appeals. The Article states that each court may affirm only such findings of guilty and sentence as the court finds correct in law and fact and determines should be approved. Article 66 also states that in conducting this review, the … Read more


Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Affirms Guilty Plea Under Revenge Porn Article

January 28, 2022

The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act created a new article under the UCMJ. Article 117a criminalizes the wrongful broadcast or distribution of intimate images. Unlike Article 120c which outlaws the indecent viewing, recording, or broadcasting of the private area of another person without their consent, Article 117a applies to servicemembers who release consensually made images … Read more

Army Prosecutors Appeal Not Guilty Findings in Pretrial Agreement Case

November 30, 2021

The Government frequently enters into pretrial agreements with accused servicemembers. These agreements benefit an accused because they usually limit the possible sentence and may reduce the number of charges the accused faces. They benefit the Government because they provide certainty in the outcome and require substantially less resources than a contested trial. When an accused … Read more

William E. Cassara, Military Law Attorney

Navy-Marine Corps Court of Appeals Finds Military Judge Erred in Admitting Videotaped Statements

November 16, 2021

We have discussed the hearsay rule on several occasions. The rule against hearsay is intended to provide an accused the chance to directly confront witnesses against him or her. Statements made out of court cannot be repeated by witnesses at trial as evidence that the substance of the statements are true. For example, if LCpl … Read more

Court of Appeals

Air Force Court Finds that Crime Victims Do Not Have the Right to be Heard by Military Trial Judges on Matters of Trial Delay

October 26, 2021

The Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (AFCCA) this week issued an order denying a writ of mandamus filed by an alleged crime victim who argued that she had a right to be heard by the military trial judge concerning a defense requested trial continuance. A TSgt is currently facing trial on four charges, one … Read more

Discharge Review

Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Reverses Navy-Marine Corps Court on Hearsay Ruling in Navy Murder Case

October 11, 2021

This blog has discussed the evidentiary rules regarding hearsay several times. Essentially, hearsay statements are those made outside of the trial process and then introduced by a witness or document during the trial. As a general rule, these statements are excluded from evidence because every accused person has the constitutional right to confront his or … Read more

Court of Appeals for Armed Forces and Federal District Court Come to Different Conclusions on Question of UCMJ Jurisdiction Over Retirees

September 28, 2021

In 2017 the Navy court-martialed retired Chief Petty Officer Begani for offenses that occurred after he retired from active duty. Chief Begani was convicted and appealed his conviction, arguing that the military should not have jurisdiction to try retired servicemembers for offenses that are committed while they are retired. Initially, a three-judge panel of the … Read more


Army Appellate Court Disapproves 18 Months of Sentence for Soldier Who Was Not Allowed Contact With His Children While Confined

August 25, 2021

The Army Court of Criminal Appeals issued an opinion in United States v. Guinn this week, disapproving 18 months of a four year sentence over restrictions imposed by a confinement facility. SSG Guinn was convicted of one specification of sexual abuse of a child and sentenced to a dishonorable discharge, confinement for four years, total … Read more

Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Reverses Navy-Marine Corps Court on Hazing Case

May 14, 2021

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) recently published its opinion in United States v. Mader reversing a Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals decision in a case involving an NCO’s charged hazing of junior Marines. A Sergeant with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines was executing orders out of the unit. A few days … Read more