Court Martial Appeals Blog

This is a blog focusing on Court Martial Appeals Issues.

Court of Appeals Clarifies Law on Aiding and Abetting

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces recently released its opinion in United States v. Simpson. Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) Simpson had communicated with a woman, MB, whom he encouraged to take pictures and videos of another individual while in various states of undress without that individual’s consent. MB had complied and, at GySgt Simpson’s …

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Discharge Review

CAAF Sets Aside Sentence in Case After Improper Argument by Prosecutors

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces [CAAF] released a decision in United States v. Norwood on February 24, 2021. Petty Officer Norwood’s niece alleged that he had sexually abused her. At trial, the prosecutors made several improper and inflammatory arguments to the members. Prosecutors can make strong arguments on the state of the …

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William E. Cassara, Military Law Attorney

Supreme Court Reverses CAAF on Statute of Limitations in Military Rape Cases

From 1986 to 2006, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) listed several offenses as eligible for the death penalty. One of those offenses was rape of an adult. The UCMJ stated that offenses “punishable by death” had no statute of limitations. This meant that these types of cases could be brought to trial at …

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Navy Criminal Appeals

Navy-Marine Corps Court Affirms Assault Conviction for HIV Positive Marine

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 …

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

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 …

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Article 15

Army Court of Criminal Appeals Affirms Trial Judge’s Decision Excluding Hearsay Statements Made By Alleged Victim and Son

The Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA) recently decided the case of United States v. Henry. The case concerns the Government’s appeal of a military judge’s decision not to allow certain statements made by the alleged victim and her son at trial. Hearsay Rules of evidence generally do not allow parties to introduce hearsay statements …

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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

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 …

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CAAF

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

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 …

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