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Court of Appeals

The Fourth Amendment protects all Americans from search and seizure of their homes and property without a warrant. There are exceptions to this rule, such as for exigent circumstances or when evidence of a crime is in plain sight of law enforcement. Where a law enforcement agent violates the Fourth Amendment rights of an individual, … Read more

Discharge Review

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces recently released its opinion in United States v. Edwards. Airman First Class Edwards was convicted of the unpremeditated murder of his roommate, Airman Bradley Hale. During sentencing, the Government called both of Airman Hale’s parents to testify about their son and the impact of his death upon … Read more

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces recently decided the case of United States v. Simmons, and set aside one of the guilty findings and the sentence. Senior Airman Simmons had been charged with, among other offenses, extortion for threatening to post intimate pictures of his victim unless she performed a sex act. The … Read more

air force drug conviction

In September 2020, 1st Lieutenant Badders was tried at Fort Hood, Texas by a panel of officers. He was found guilty of one specification of sexual assault. While the members were deliberating on the case, the defense counsel became aware of an article published in several on-line news sources concerning a high-profile Soldier suicide at … Read more

Article 66 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice establishes the Service Courts of Criminal Appeals. The Article states that each court may affirm only such findings of guilty and sentence as the court finds correct in law and fact and determines should be approved. Article 66 also states that in conducting this review, the … Read more

UCMJ

The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act created a new article under the UCMJ. Article 117a criminalizes the wrongful broadcast or distribution of intimate images. Unlike Article 120c which outlaws the indecent viewing, recording, or broadcasting of the private area of another person without their consent, Article 117a applies to servicemembers who release consensually made images … Read more

The Government frequently enters into pretrial agreements with accused servicemembers. These agreements benefit an accused because they usually limit the possible sentence and may reduce the number of charges the accused faces. They benefit the Government because they provide certainty in the outcome and require substantially less resources than a contested trial. When an accused … Read more

William E. Cassara, Military Law Attorney

We have discussed the hearsay rule on several occasions. The rule against hearsay is intended to provide an accused the chance to directly confront witnesses against him or her. Statements made out of court cannot be repeated by witnesses at trial as evidence that the substance of the statements are true. For example, if LCpl … Read more

Court of Appeals

The Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (AFCCA) this week issued an order denying a writ of mandamus filed by an alleged crime victim who argued that she had a right to be heard by the military trial judge concerning a defense requested trial continuance. A TSgt is currently facing trial on four charges, one … Read more

Discharge Review

This blog has discussed the evidentiary rules regarding hearsay several times. Essentially, hearsay statements are those made outside of the trial process and then introduced by a witness or document during the trial. As a general rule, these statements are excluded from evidence because every accused person has the constitutional right to confront his or … Read more