Military Law Blog

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

caaf army

Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Limits the Use of Prior Statements at Trial

July 14, 2020

Military rules of evidence generally do not allow hearsay statements to be admitted at trial. Hearsay statements are statements made outside of court that are offered as proof of the substance of that statement. There are several exceptions to the hearsay rule, such as statements included in regular business records. Other types of statements are […]

Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals Finds That Government Did Not Prove Sexual Assault Offenses Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

June 25, 2020

In 2018, the Marine Corps tried Cpl Lewis on several sexual assault charges. The panel convicted him of attempted sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, and sexual assault. The Government charged that these offenses occurred when the alleged victim, Cpl Alpha, was incapable of consenting due to impairment by alcohol. The panel found Cpl Lewis not […]

Navy-Marine Corps Appeals

Navy and Marine Corps Court Finds That Military Judge Properly Granted Mistrial After Prosecutor Failed to Provide Discovery to Defense Counsel

May 27, 2020

The Navy Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals recently decided the case of United States v. Cabrera. LCpl Cabrera was part of a group of Marines that went out to several bars one evening. LCpl Romeo (not her real name) was a member of the group and became intoxicated to the point that she blacked […]

CAAF

CAAF Finds that Defense Attorney Was Not Ineffective for Failing to Admit False Confession at Court-Martial

May 14, 2020

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) recently decided the case of US v Carter. In 2015, Private First Class Gerald Carter was stationed at Fort Drum, New York but was temporarily assigned to Fort Polk, Louisiana. Both before and during the time that PFC Carter was in Louisiana, a Kik user with […]

Navy Criminal Appeals

Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals Reverses Earlier Opinion on Whether Regular Component Retirees Are Subject to UCMJ Jurisdiction

January 31, 2020

In December 2017, the Navy court-martialed retired Chief Petty Officer Stephen Begani for attempted sexual assault of a child and attempted sexual abuse of a child. The charges stemmed from online conversations between the retired Chief and an undercover NCIS agent who was portraying a 15-year old child and the Chief’s travel to meet with […]

Discharge Review

Army Court of Criminal Appeals Rejects Defense Arguments that President Trump’s Comments Unlawfully Influenced Proceedings in Bowe Bergdahl Case

October 17, 2019

Then-Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl was assigned to a combat outpost in Afghanistan in 2009 when he left the Observation Post in order to walk to a Forward Operating Post and lodge a complaint about the treatment of his platoon at the OP. Bergdahl was quickly captured by the Taliban and held captive until May […]

Court of Appeals

The Government Petitions the US Supreme Court to Review CAAF Decisions on Statutes of Limitation

October 17, 2019

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 […]

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