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Court Martial Appeals Blog

Army Court of Criminal Appeals Rejects Defense Arguments that President Trump’s Comments Unlawfully Influenced Proceedings in Bowe Bergdahl Case

Discharge Review

Then-Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl was assigned to a combat outpost in Afghanistan in 2009 when he left the Observation Post in order to walk to a Forward Operating Post and lodge a complaint about the treatment of his platoon at the OP. Bergdahl was quickly captured by the Taliban and held captive until May […]

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The Government Petitions the US Supreme Court to Review CAAF Decisions on Statutes of Limitation

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In February of this year, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) issued its opinion in United States v. Briggs. It was the second CAAF decision addressing the statute of limitations in sexual assault cases issued in the last two years. This blog discussed both cases here. Essentially, the Court found that the […]

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CAAF Finds Error in Army Court’s Alteration of Guilty Rape Finding

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The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) issued an opinion in the case of United States v. English this summer that reinforced the limitations on the authority of appellate courts. Specialist English was convicted at court-martial of several specifications resulting from a violent sexual attack on his wife. He was sentenced to 23 […]

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Defense Failure to Object Dooms Issue on Appeal

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On June 7th, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces issued an opinion in United States v. Gonzales. This opinion reinforces how important it is for defense counsel to get objections and concerns on the record during trial. Specialist Gonzales was charged with, among other offenses, rape of a child, which requires penetration, however […]

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Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals Overturns Sexual Assault Conviction Over Improper Search Authorizations

Discharge Review

The Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (NMCCA) recently decided the case of United States v. Armendariz. Master Sergeant Armendariz was a member of MWSS-373 in July 2016. The majority of the squadron, along with its Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel W, were deployed at the time and MSgt Armendariz was part of the Remain Behind […]

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Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Affirms Conviction Where Search Was Conducted Without Probable Cause

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The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) recently affirmed the conviction in United States v. Perkins despite a finding by the lower court that the search of Sergeant Perkins’ home was conducted without probable cause. In 2015, a civilian woman contacted the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) onboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma […]

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Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Reaffirms Sexual Assault as a General Intent Crime

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In United States v. McDonald, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) examined the required mens rea, or criminal intent, necessary for a conviction of sexual assault. PFC McDonald’s roommate invited a woman over to his barracks room. He told her that no one else would be in the room. The woman testified […]

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