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Military Law Blog

Court of Appeals

Navy-Marine Corps Court Sets Aside Guilty Finding After Unlawful Cell Phone Search

May 17, 2022

The Fourth Amendment protects all Americans from search and seizure of their homes and property without a warrant. There are exceptions to this rule, such as for exigent circumstances or when evidence of a crime is in plain sight of law enforcement. Where a law enforcement agent violates the Fourth Amendment rights of an individual, … Read more

Court of Appeals

Court Determines that Marine Captain Properly Separated After Affair with Staff Sergeant’s Wife

May 5, 2022

The Court of Federal Claims recently granted the Government’s motion for judgment on the administrative record in Carlino v. United States, the case of a Marine Captain who was administratively separated with an Other Than Honorable characterization of discharge after the command learned of his affair with the wife of a Staff Sergeant. The Captain … Read more

Discharge Review

Sentence Set Aside Over Victim Impact Video

April 25, 2022

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces recently released its opinion in United States v. Edwards. Airman First Class Edwards was convicted of the unpremeditated murder of his roommate, Airman Bradley Hale. During sentencing, the Government called both of Airman Hale’s parents to testify about their son and the impact of his death upon … Read more

Court of Appeals Sets Aside Conviction After Government Expanded Charged Time Period Mid-Trial

April 5, 2022

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces recently decided the case of United States v. Simmons, and set aside one of the guilty findings and the sentence. Senior Airman Simmons had been charged with, among other offenses, extortion for threatening to post intimate pictures of his victim unless she performed a sex act. The … Read more

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

Court of Appeals

FY22 NDAA Removes Commanders From Sexual Assault Prosecutorial Decisions

December 23, 2021

Members of Congress have long been focused on the issue of sexual assault in the military and the steps taken by military commanders to combat the problem and impartially try those accused. After years of revisions to the UCMJ articles related to sexual assault and the procedures by which prosecutorial decisions are made, Congress has … 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