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Court Martial Appeals Blog

AFCCA finds judge erred in not admitting evidence of consensual sex following alleged sexual assault.

Recently, on 16 August 2017, the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (AFCCA) reviewed a military judge’s decision to exclude evidence under M.R.E. 412 in United States v. Leonhardt. In this case, a female Air Force Academy cadet accused 2LT Leonhardt, a male Air Force Academy cadet, of raping her after inviting her back to […]

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Army Court of Criminal Appeals determines that counsel have only one chance to object during closing argument.

Recently, on 5 July 2017, the Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA) held that appellant, Sergeant (SGT) Kelly waived his right to claim on appeal that the government argued improperly when his defense counsel failed to object to the argument at the court-martial. In this case, SGT Kelly was accused of sexually assaulting a female […]

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Navy-Marine Court of Criminal Appeals holds that victim’s right to not be excluded from an Article 32 hearing has limits.

Recently, in A.M. v. United States and Densford, the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (NMCCA) reviewed a claim from an alleged sexual assault victim that she was excluded from parts of the preliminary Article 32 hearing in violation of Article 6b of the UCMJ. Under Article 6b(a)(3), the alleged victim of a UCMJ offense […]

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Can Power Bars get you Court-Martialed?

At least in the Air Force, the answer appears to be “yes.”  In the case of United States v. Pugh,  the United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the trial judge’s decision to dismiss court-martial charges against Major Pugh.  Major Pugh was charged with use of drugs, and willful dereliction of duty by […]

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NMCCA reverses findings due to conflicts of interest between military prosecutor and military defense counsel.

On 31 May 2017, in United States v. Hale, the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (NMCCA) reversed the findings and sentence in a marine court-martial based on severe conflicts of interest found between the lead defense counsel and the lead prosecutor.  A rehearing was authorized.  In this case, appellant was convicted of serious offenses […]

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CAAF defines the different types of defenses.

Recently, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) reviewed an Army case called United States v. Feliciano.  Private (PV2) Feliciano was convicted of two specifications of attempted aggravated sexual assault.  The evidence produced at the court-martial showed that PV2 Feliciano had sexual intercourse in a barracks room with a female soldier who had […]

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AFCCA Reverses Drug Conviction

This is an odd case for me to write about, because I was the counsel at trial, and we lost. But, because we properly preserved issues for appeal, the conviction was overturned on appeal.   Sr. A Barbara Thomas was convicted of two specifications of drug use. Most of the evidence against her was from […]

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