Military Law Blog

Discharge Review

Court of Appeals Sets Aside Sentence In Involuntary Manslaughter Case

September 11, 2023

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces recently decided the case of United States v. Harrington. Airman First Class Harrington was tried and convicted of involuntary manslaughter, communicating a threat, and the unlawful use of cocaine and marijuana. The drug and threat specifications resulted from a separate incident from the involuntary manslaughter offense. The … Read more

NCIS Expunges Sailor’s Name from Federal Background Check Records After Change in Law

August 28, 2023

On January 1, 2021, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 took effect. One of the provisions of that law significantly improves servicemembers’ chances of getting their names removed from the federal DCII and NCIC background check databases. The new law allows a servicemember who was investigated by military law enforcement agencies to … Read more

Court of Appeals Reverses Lower Court and Dismisses Charges After Unlawful Command Influence

August 16, 2023

Unlawful command influence has been called the “mortal enemy” of military justice. Article 37(a)(3) of the UCMJ prohibits any person subject to the UCMJ from attempting to coerce or, by any unauthorized means, attempting to influence the action of a court-martial. Some common examples are when a command prevents other servicemembers from testifying on behalf … Read more

Army Appellate Court Sets Aside Guilty Plea After Military Judge Enters Ambiguous Finding

August 1, 2023

Prosecutors sometimes create specifications that cover multiple instances of the same alleged criminal behavior. For example, in a domestic violence case where the servicemember is accused of assaulting his spouse on several occasions over a period of time, this can be charged as one specification of assault occurring “on divers occasions” over that period. This … Read more

 Bergdahl wins in DC federal district court

July 25, 2023

 District Court Judge decides important case regarding the ability to attack a court-martial conviction in civilian courts.  Read more: For a consultation on your case, contact us at

Court of Appeals Holds That Victim Impact Presentation Did Not Prejudice Servicemember

July 21, 2023

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces recently decided the case of United States v. Cunningham. Senior Airman Cunningham was convicted of murdering his infant son. He was sentenced to eighteen years confinement, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, reduction to E-1, and a dishonorable discharge. During the sentencing proceedings, the baby’s mother and … Read more

Court of Appeals Determines That Servicemembers Do Not Have The Right To A Unanimous Verdict

July 1, 2023

In 2020, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Ramos v. Louisiana. In Ramos, the Supreme Court held that the Sixth Amendment right to a jury included the requirement that jury verdicts be unanimous in order to convict. Since that time, military practitioners have been arguing to the military courts of appeal that … Read more

air force drug conviction

Navy-Marine Corps Court Overturns Manslaughter Conviction

June 14, 2023

The Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals recently decided the case of United States v. London. Lance Corporal (LCpl) London was in Boston with two friends when they encountered several members of the Emerson College men’s and women’s lacrosse teams at an apartment building. LCpl London’s group of three spoke for a while with a … Read more

Discharge Review

New Law Gives Right to Appeal to Servicemembers With Lightest Sentences–But You Must Act Quickly!

May 23, 2023

As discussed previously here, the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act opened up access to the appellate courts to every servicemember convicted at general or special courts-martial, no matter the sentence. If you are court-martialed and receive a sentence that includes a bad conduct discharge, dishonorable discharge, dismissal, or confinement for two years or more, your … Read more

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals for Armed Forces Finds That Confinement Conditions Did Not Constitute Cruel and Unusual Punishment

May 8, 2023

Many bases and posts throughout the United States do not have their own confinement facilities. The commanders of these installations often enter into Memorandums of Agreement (MOA) with local civilian jails to hold pretrial detainees, servicemembers serving a short sentence, or servicemembers awaiting transfer to a military confinement facility. The conditions at these local jails … Read more