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Court Martial Appeals Blog

This is a blog focusing on Court Martial Appeals Issues.

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 … Read more

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. … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

CAAF and ACCA agree, a failure to object to a missing instruction means forfeiture.

May 11, 2017

If you or your loved one is facing a court-martial, it is crucial that you hire an attorney with experience.  It takes a very experienced attorney to know exactly when to object and what objections to make at your court-martial.  Even if an objection is overruled at the court-martial, you may have success on appeal.  … Read more

AFCCA Reverses Drug Conviction

May 10, 2017

This is an odd case for me to write about, because I was the counsel at trial, and we lost. But, because we properly preserved issues for appeal, the conviction was overturned on appeal.   Sr. A Barbara Thomas was convicted of two specifications of drug use. Most of the evidence against her was from … Read more

Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals Opinion on Article 31(b) rights.

May 9, 2017

Welcome to the latest edition of Court-Martial Appeals Blog.  On 25 April 2017, the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (AFCCA) reviewed the conduct of agents working in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) in United States v. Campbell.  The AFCCA in Campbell determined that the military judge in the case did not … Read more