On 14 June 2017, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces overturned and dismissed two offenses for one of our Coast Guard clients. The CAAF decision about whether an amendment to a specification was a minor or major change overruled YEARS of precedent for all the military courts of criminal appeals. Because of our hugely successful appeal, now an appellant only needs to show that an amendment is a major change. Because of our win, the CAAF unanimously held that military law no longer requires that an appellant prove that a major change caused any prejudice, or harm, to the case.
On 31 August 2017, the Army Court issued a decision in a case where the government made a major change to a specification over defense objection. Thanks to our victory at CAAF, that appellant did not have to show that he suffered any prejudice because of the major change. The Army Court set aside the conviction. Our success at CAAF has changed military caselaw to make it easier for servicemembers to prevail on this issue on appeal.
If you or a loved one is convicted at a court-martial, you need an experienced court-martial appeal attorney. Please contact Mr. Cassara for a free consultation.