What is a Special Court-Martial?

A special court-martial is the intermediate court level. It consists of a military judge, trial counsel (prosecutor), defense counsel, and a minimum of three officers sitting as a panel of court members or jury. An enlisted accused may request a court composed of at least one-third enlisted personnel. An accused, officer or enlisted, may also request trial by judge alone. Regardless of the offenses involved, a special court-martial sentence is limited to no more than one year confinement, forfeiture of two-third's basic pay per month for one year, a bad-conduct discharge (for enlisted personnel), and certain lesser punishments. An officer accused in a special court-martial cannot be dismissed from the service or confined.

William E. Cassara- Military Law Attorney

Recent Accomplishments

CAAF

CAAF Finds that Defense Attorney Was Not Ineffective for Failing to Admit False Confession at Court-Martial

By William Cassara | May 14, 2020

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) recently decided the case of US v Carter. In 2015, Private First Class Gerald Carter was stationed at Fort Drum, New York but was temporarily assigned to Fort Polk, Louisiana. Both before and during the time that PFC Carter was in […]

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Supreme Court Decision Decides that Federal and State Jury Verdicts Must Be Unanimous

By William Cassara | April 30, 2020

Last week, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Louisiana v. Ramos. Louisiana is one of two states (the other being Oregon) that do not require unanimous verdicts in criminal jury trials. In 2016, Evangelisto Ramos was found guilty of second degree murder by a jury that voted […]

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Court of Appeals

ARMY TJAG REVERSES CONVICTION

By William Cassara | April 15, 2020

We are thrilled to report that The Judge Advocate General (TJAG) of the Army reversed the conviction of a client of ours after a long wait based on our UCMJ Article 69 appeal. Our client, a senior NCO and a Special Forces recruiter was acquitted of larceny of military property. […]

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