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Military Law Blog

UCMJ

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

Can the Department of Defense Require Servicemembers to Get the COVID Vaccine?

August 13, 2021

On December 11, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization for the first COVID vaccine for all Americans 16 and older. Shortly after this approval, the Department of Defense (DoD) began vaccinating servicemembers on a voluntary basis. It has recently been reported that the DoD will soon mandate vaccination … 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

air force drug conviction

CAAF Reverses Army Court on Hearsay Ruling

April 30, 2021

In June 2020, the Army Court of Criminal Appeals issued an opinion in United States v. Henry affirming the military judge’s decision to exclude four hearsay statements made by the alleged victim and her son. We discussed that opinion here. The government appealed the Army Court decision to the Court of Appeals for the Armed … Read more

Court of Appeals Clarifies Law on Aiding and Abetting

March 26, 2021

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces recently released its opinion in United States v. Simpson. Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) Simpson had communicated with a woman, MB, whom he encouraged to take pictures and videos of another individual while in various states of undress without that individual’s consent. MB had complied and, at GySgt Simpson’s … Read more

Discharge Review

CAAF Sets Aside Sentence in Case After Improper Argument by Prosecutors

February 25, 2021

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces [CAAF] released a decision in United States v. Norwood on February 24, 2021. Petty Officer Norwood’s niece alleged that he had sexually abused her. At trial, the prosecutors made several improper and inflammatory arguments to the members. Prosecutors can make strong arguments on the state of the … Read more

William E. Cassara, Military Law Attorney

Supreme Court Reverses CAAF on Statute of Limitations in Military Rape Cases

February 1, 2021

From 1986 to 2006, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) listed several offenses as eligible for the death penalty. One of those offenses was rape of an adult. The UCMJ stated that offenses “punishable by death” had no statute of limitations. This meant that these types of cases could be brought to trial at … Read more

UCMJ

UCMJ Changes JAG Review for Courts-Martial

October 10, 2020

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) underwent several significant changes as a result of the 2016 Military Justice Act. Those changes went into effect on January 1, 2019 and include a new approach to Judge Advocate General (JAG) review of cases that do not qualify for appellate review. Pre-2019 JAG Review Prior to 2019, … Read more

Air Force Court Reverses Military Judge’s Dismissal of Sexual Assault Charge

September 3, 2020

In January 2016, Senior Airman Harrington was at a party with several individuals. SSgt FC, LB, and TSgt KW were at the party as well. The group played several drinking games, including an “adult” version of Jenga. The game required individuals to perform tasks, such as removing articles of clothing or taking “body shots” from … Read more

Navy Criminal Appeals

Navy-Marine Corps Court Affirms Assault Conviction for HIV Positive Marine

August 20, 2020

NMCCA issued an opinion in the case of US v Lewis this week. Sgt Lewis was convicted of three specifications of failure to obey a lawful order, one specification of sexual assault by causing bodily harm, one specification of indecent viewing, and one specification of assault consummated by a battery. On appeal, Sgt Lewis argued … Read more