I want to appeal my court-martial-why is it taking so long to be completed?

After someone is convicted at a court-martial, there are many administrative tasks that take place.  These tasks include the record of trial being typed and reviewed; the Convening Authority taking final action in the case; the case being docketed by the service appellate court; and finally the service appellate court making a decision.  While these actions take time, they should not take an unreasonable amount of time.  In 2006, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) determined that if 120 days or more passed between the trial’s completion and Convening Authority’s action, the delay would be presumed unreasonable.  CAAF also determined that if the case was not docketed with the service appellate court within 30 days after the Convening Authority’s action, the delay would be presumed unreasonable.  Finally, CAAF determined that if the service appellate court did not render a decision within 18 months of the case being docketed, the delay would be presumed unreasonable.  There are other factors considered in whether or not the post trial process was too lengthy.  However, these benchmarks give us an understanding of when appellate courts may be inclined to agree that things are just simply taking too long.  If you believe that the government is taking or took too long in processing your case after the trial, you may be entitled to relief.  Sometimes this relief can be significant.  Call me today.  To speak to an experienced court-martial and military defense attorney, call Bill Cassara at 706-860-5769 for a free consultation.


William E. Cassara- Military Law Attorney

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