Military Law Blog

CAAF reverses another sexual conviction with prejudice calling the case a “tangled morass.”

February 15, 2018

About two weeks ago, I wrote a blog about the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) overturning a conviction for rape and other charges in the Coast Guard case United States v. Riesbeck. https://courtmartial3.wpengine.com/caaf-reverses-conviction-rape-prejudice-coast-guard-improperly-selected-panel-saturated-women/. The Court dismissed that case with prejudice on 23 January 2018 due to the panel being improperly stacked with […]

Where do I go to get “bad paper” out of my permanent file if I am already separated from the service?

February 2, 2018

If a reprimand or non-judicial punishment (NJP) is filed in your permanent file while you are in the service, it stays in there unless it is later removed. Sometimes, it is the reason you are later separated from the service. Sometimes you leave the service voluntarily. Either way, the reprimand or NJP stay in your […]

CAAF reverses conviction for rape with prejudice because the Coast Guard improperly selected a panel saturated with women.

January 25, 2018

On 23 January 2018, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) overturned a conviction for rape and other charges in the Coast Guard case United States v. Riesbeck. When Boatswain’s Mate Second Class (E-5) Riesbeck went to his court-martial in 2012 for allegedly raping a woman, he faced a seven member panel that […]

Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces reverses my client’s conviction and sentence based on improper use of propensity evidence.

January 18, 2018

The year 2018 has started off with a good news story! I argued in front of the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) for my client Army Major (MAJ) Thompson recently and the CAAF ruled in our favor in January 2018. The CAAF reversed the ruling made by the Army Court of Criminal […]

Air Force CCA rules that victim’s unsworn statement is not evidence.

January 10, 2018

Article 6b of the UCMJ, states that a crime victim has a “right to be reasonably heard at . . . [a] sentencing hearing relating to the offense.” Article 6b(a)(4)(B). However, the rules of evidence allow a victim to present their testimony on sentencing in the form of an unsworn statement. This is similar to […]

Army Court of Criminal Appeals reverses conviction based on a bad search.

January 8, 2018

On 13 December 2017, in United States v. Morales, the Army Court of Criminal Appeal (ACCA) reversed PFC Morales’ court-martial conviction for abusive sexual content, indecent viewing and indecent recording. In this case, a female soldier alleged that PFC Morales sexually touched her while massaging her legs. After the alleged touching the female soldier and […]

Will my court-martial automatically be appealed to the appellate courts?

December 16, 2017

In many circumstances, a court-martial case will be automatically reviewed by the appropriate service Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA). There is an Army CCA, Air Force CCA, Navy-Marine CCA and a Coast Guard CCA. Article 66 of the UCMJ dictates which court-martial cases will be automatically heard by the service courts of criminal appeals. Currently, […]

Military Law Matters Podcast 16- Appeals

December 12, 2017

Convicted by a court-martial–It isn’t over until the appeals are over–how you can walk out of prison after your conviction: Interview of Bill Cassara, a retired US Army Reserve JAG. Bill specializes in criminal law to include courts-martial. Bill explains what happens after your court-martial has ended and you are appealing your conviction. Bill walks […]

Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals gives appellant an entire year off of his confinement because the Air Force missed a hearing.

December 6, 2017

In 2014, in United States v. Katso, the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (AFCCA) reversed an appellant’s convictions of aggravated sexual assault, burglary, and unlawful entry, for which the appellant was sentenced to confinement for ten years, total forfeitures, and a dishonorable discharge. The reversal was based on the AFCCA’s finding that a DNA […]

Can an incomplete and unfiled written reprimand be used against me in my court-martial?

November 28, 2017

Today on November 28, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) is set to review this very issue in United States v. Jerkins. In this case, Army Major Jerkins was convicted of assault consummated by a battery upon a child after hitting his three-year-old step-son with a belt. Following his conviction, MAJ […]

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