"Collateral Attack" of a court-martial conviction

I am frequently asked if it is possible to “appeal” a court-martial conviction through the civilian courts.  The short answer is yes. The long answer is much more complicated.  While one can file an appeal in federal court (after all military appeals are completed) it is rare for a federal court to intervene and grant relief.  The recent case of Faison v. Belcher is a perfect example.  As that court pointed out, once military appeals are completed a petitioner must show several things before a federal court will intervene.  Mainly, they have to show that the matters being brought up in federal court were not, and could not, have been raised during the military appeals.  A federal court is limited in its review of a military conviction to those issues not raised or considered on prior appeal. In other words, you generally need new evidence not previously available.  Given the difficulty of fighting a court-martial conviction in federal court, the time to appeal is while you are still in the military courts. If you or a loved one have been convicted at court-martial, you need an experienced court-martial appeal attorney. Call me for a free consultation.


Faison v. Belcher