Military Law Blog

President Issues Pardon for Certain Article 125 Court-Martial Convictions

June 28, 2024

From 1951 until 2013, Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice criminalized consensual sodomy between adults. The military pursued incidents of consensual same-sex sexual activity under this provision for decades. In 2003, the US Supreme Court issued an opinion in Lawrence v. Texas that struck down statutes criminalizing consensual sodomy between adults. The … Read more

Court of Appeals Sets Aside Sentence in Guilty Plea After Military Judge Error

June 20, 2024

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces recently released its opinion in the case of United States v. Cole. Airman First Class Cole pled guilty to committing three different assault offenses against a fellow airman. He pled guilty to assault via strangulation on multiple occasions, to simple assault with an unloaded firearm, and to … Read more

UCMJ

Navy-Marine Corps Appellate Court Explains Need for New Trial in Catfishing Case

May 30, 2024

In March 2024, the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals decided the case of United States v. Colletti. The Court set aside the guilty plea to wire fraud in a case where the accused had used images of women to encourage other women he met online to send him intimate photos of themselves. The Navy-Marine … Read more

Top Military Appellate Court Sets Aside Guilty Verdict in Naval Academy Sexual Assault Case

May 15, 2024

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces recently issued a decision in United States v. Keago. Midshipman Keago was charged with attempted sexual assault, sexual assault, burglary, and obstruction of justice related to the alleged sexual assaults of three other midshipmen from the US Naval Academy. He was found guilty of these offenses and … Read more

Navy-Marine Corps Appellate Court Overturns Guilty Plea in Catfishing Case

April 16, 2024

The Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals recently decided the case of United States v. Colletti. SSgt Colletti executed a scheme to get women to send him nude pictures of themselves. His plan consisted of posing as “Jenicae” and her girlfriend “Nicki.” Operating as these two personas, SSgt Colletti was able to get two different … Read more

Discharge Review

Court of Appeals for Armed Forces Finds Military Counsel Ineffective For Failing to Make Motion to Strike Victim Testimony

April 4, 2024

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) recently decided the case of United States v. Palik. TSgt Palik was court-martialed over several charges involving domestic assault of his girlfriend, a fellow Airman. He was convicted of two specifications of assault consummated by a battery and one specification of domestic violence by strangulation. He … Read more

CAAF

Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Affirms Convictions and Death Sentence For Army Major

March 8, 2024

In 2009, Army Major Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, walked into a Soldier Readiness Processing Center on Fort Hood, Texas and opened fire with a semiautomatic handgun equipped with laser sights. He killed thirteen people and wounded thirty-one others. The attack ended when he was shot by responding law enforcement. As a result of his … Read more

Government Continues Appeal of Military Judge’s Decision to Suppress Servicemember’s Statement to NCIS

February 20, 2024

In February 2020, SSgt Flanner, USMC, was deployed to Kuwait as a contracting officer. He submitted four purchase vouchers for more than $30,000 for payment during that month. The Government claimed that they were fraudulent and NCIS opened an investigation into SSgt Flanner in May 2020. In May 2021, NCIS brought SSgt Flanner in for … Read more

Appellate Court Sets Aside Attempted Sexual Assault Conviction

February 14, 2024

The Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals recently decided the case of United States v. Salinas. Petty Officer Second Class Salinas was convicted of attempted sexual assault and assault with intent to commit sexual assault. The two offenses were charged in the alternative, so PO2 Salinas was only sentenced on the attempted sexual assault offense. … Read more

air force drug conviction

Navy-Marine Corps Appellate Court Sets Aside Convictions on Search and Seizure Error

January 22, 2024

The Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals recently decided the case of United States v. Harborth. Chief Harborth and his wife were having an argument over her suspicion that he was having an affair. The Chief’s wife asked to see his cell phone and he began to delete pictures from the phone. The Chief’s stepdaughter … Read more