Discharge Review

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces recently decided the case of United States v. Harrington. Airman First Class Harrington was tried and convicted of involuntary manslaughter, communicating a threat, and the unlawful use of cocaine and marijuana. The drug and threat specifications resulted from a separate incident from the involuntary manslaughter offense. The … Read more

Unlawful command influence has been called the “mortal enemy” of military justice. Article 37(a)(3) of the UCMJ prohibits any person subject to the UCMJ from attempting to coerce or, by any unauthorized means, attempting to influence the action of a court-martial. Some common examples are when a command prevents other servicemembers from testifying on behalf … Read more

Prosecutors sometimes create specifications that cover multiple instances of the same alleged criminal behavior. For example, in a domestic violence case where the servicemember is accused of assaulting his spouse on several occasions over a period of time, this can be charged as one specification of assault occurring “on divers occasions” over that period. This … Read more

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces recently decided the case of United States v. Cunningham. Senior Airman Cunningham was convicted of murdering his infant son. He was sentenced to eighteen years confinement, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, reduction to E-1, and a dishonorable discharge. During the sentencing proceedings, the baby’s mother and … Read more

In 2020, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Ramos v. Louisiana. In Ramos, the Supreme Court held that the Sixth Amendment right to a jury included the requirement that jury verdicts be unanimous in order to convict. Since that time, military practitioners have been arguing to the military courts of appeal that … Read more

air force drug conviction

The Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals recently decided the case of United States v. London. Lance Corporal (LCpl) London was in Boston with two friends when they encountered several members of the Emerson College men’s and women’s lacrosse teams at an apartment building. LCpl London’s group of three spoke for a while with a … Read more

Discharge Review

As discussed previously here, the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act opened up access to the appellate courts to every servicemember convicted at general or special courts-martial, no matter the sentence. If you are court-martialed and receive a sentence that includes a bad conduct discharge, dishonorable discharge, dismissal, or confinement for two years or more, your … Read more

Court of Appeals

Many bases and posts throughout the United States do not have their own confinement facilities. The commanders of these installations often enter into Memorandums of Agreement (MOA) with local civilian jails to hold pretrial detainees, servicemembers serving a short sentence, or servicemembers awaiting transfer to a military confinement facility. The conditions at these local jails … Read more

Before December 23, 2022, Article 66 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) set up two ways for convicted servicemembers to get direct appellate review from the service courts of criminal appeals. First, courts-martial that resulted in a sentence that included death, dismissal, dishonorable discharge, bad conduct discharge, or confinement for two years or … Read more

Some convictions at court-martial can carry certain collateral consequences. For example, domestic assault convictions will trigger Lautenberg limitations on gun ownership and possession. Convictions for offenses considered felonies at the state level can strip a convicted servicemember of the ability to vote or own weapons. Convictions for sex offenses usually leads to registration as a … Read more