Court Martial Appeals Blog

This is a blog focusing on Court Martial Appeals Issues.

Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Overturns Offenses

September 12, 2017

On 14 June 2017, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces overturned and dismissed two offenses for one of our Coast Guard clients. The CAAF decision about whether an amendment to a specification was a minor or major change overruled YEARS of precedent for all the military courts of criminal appeals. Because of our […]

Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces upholds judge’s suppression of cell phone evidence due to Fifth Amendment violation.

September 7, 2017

Army Sergeant (SGT) Mitchell was accused of using his cell phone to harass his wife. After SGT Mitchell was escorted to the military police station, he was read his rights. SGT Mitchell invoked his 5th Amendment right to an attorney. However, two hours after invoking his right to counsel, the police asked SGT Mitchell to […]

AFCCA finds judge erred in not admitting evidence of consensual sex following alleged sexual assault.

August 23, 2017

Recently, on 16 August 2017, the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (AFCCA) reviewed a military judge’s decision to exclude evidence under M.R.E. 412 in United States v. Leonhardt. In this case, a female Air Force Academy cadet accused 2LT Leonhardt, a male Air Force Academy cadet, of raping her after inviting her back to […]

Army Court of Criminal Appeals determines that counsel have only one chance to object during closing argument.

August 20, 2017

Recently, on 5 July 2017, the Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA) held that appellant, Sergeant (SGT) Kelly waived his right to claim on appeal that the government argued improperly when his defense counsel failed to object to the argument at the court-martial. In this case, SGT Kelly was accused of sexually assaulting a female […]

Air Force CCA puts limits on admissibility of victim impact statements.

August 8, 2017

Recently, on 7 July 2017, in United States v. Barker the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals made it clear that an alleged victim’s right to submit a victim impact statement during the sentencing phase of a court-martial has limits. Airman First Class Barker pled guilty to possessing and viewing child pornography at his court-martial. […]

Navy-Marine Court of Criminal Appeals holds that victim’s right to not be excluded from an Article 32 hearing has limits.

August 5, 2017

Recently, in A.M. v. United States and Densford, the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (NMCCA) reviewed a claim from an alleged sexual assault victim that she was excluded from parts of the preliminary Article 32 hearing in violation of Article 6b of the UCMJ. Under Article 6b(a)(3), the alleged victim of a UCMJ offense […]

Can Power Bars get you Court-Martialed?

August 3, 2017

At least in the Air Force, the answer appears to be “yes.”  In the case of United States v. Pugh,  the United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the trial judge’s decision to dismiss court-martial charges against Major Pugh.  Major Pugh was charged with use of drugs, and willful dereliction of duty by […]

NMCCA reverses findings due to conflicts of interest between military prosecutor and military defense counsel.

June 7, 2017

On 31 May 2017, in United States v. Hale, the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (NMCCA) reversed the findings and sentence in a marine court-martial based on severe conflicts of interest found between the lead defense counsel and the lead prosecutor.  A rehearing was authorized.  In this case, appellant was convicted of serious offenses […]

ACCA analyzes exceptions allowing release of mental health records.

June 2, 2017

On 24 May 2017, in LK v. Sanchez, the Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA) attempted to clarify some aspects of the Military Rule of Evidence (M.R.E.) 513 which states that communications between a psychotherapist and his or her patient are privileged communications.  The petitioner in the case before ACCA was the alleged child victim […]

CAAF defines the different types of defenses.

May 18, 2017

Recently, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) reviewed an Army case called United States v. Feliciano.  Private (PV2) Feliciano was convicted of two specifications of attempted aggravated sexual assault.  The evidence produced at the court-martial showed that PV2 Feliciano had sexual intercourse in a barracks room with a female soldier who had […]

William E. Cassara- Military Law Attorney

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