Court Martial Appeals Blog

This is a blog focusing on Court Martial Appeals Issues.

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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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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Discharge Review

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

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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Court of Appeals

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

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

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

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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air force drug conviction

Defense Failure to Object Dooms Issue on Appeal

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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Discharge Review

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

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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