Toll Free: 800-511-9293
Local: 706-860-5769

What is a mistrial? Could it put a stop to my court-martial?

During a court-martial, a defense counsel may make a motion to the military judge for a mistrial.  If a motion for a mistrial is granted by the military judge, then the servicemember’s court-martial is terminated.  The charges and specifications in the court-martial are withdrawn and returned to the convening authority.  The convening authority can then decide to refer them to a new court-martial or dispose of them altogether.  If they are referred again, the whole process starts fresh.  Because granting a mistrial is such a drastic measure, military judges are directed to use this power “with great caution.”  This means that these motions are not granted very often, however, sometimes they are.  If a motion for a mistrial is granted in your case, it could change everything for you in a positive way.  Being an experienced defense counsel, I am very familiar with motions for mistrial and I know when to make them.  Recently, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces  (CAAF) in United States v. Hornback ruled that there was significant prosecutorial misconduct during the court-martial.  CAAF determined that “trial counsel repeatedly and persistently elicited improper testimony, despite repeated sustained objections as well as admonition and instruction from the military judge.”  One of the dissenting CAAF judges in this case remarked about the fact that the defense counsel did not make a motion for mistrial during the court-martial.  While there is no way to know for sure, it is possible that if the defense counsel had made a motion for mistrial in that case, it may have been granted.  It takes experience to know when a motion for mistrial is appropriate.  I have the experience you need.  Call me to discuss your court-martial or court-martial appeal today.  To speak to an experienced court-martial and military defense attorney, call Bill Cassara at 706-860-5769 for a free consultation.

Related posts

Recent Argument

I had the honor of arguing the case of United States v. Eppes at...

Valor Radio

While in NY recently, I had the privilege of appearing on the radio show...

PTSD and TBI

I see more and more cases with service members who have either PTSD and/or...

Why I do what I do

As a defense attorney, I am frequently asked how I can represent people I...

Shaken Baby Syndrome

This is an interesting article on “Shaken Baby Syndrome.”  I have represented numerous service...

Varieties of Courts-Martial

Summary Court-Martial – Trial by summary court-martial provides a simplified process for the resolution...

Court-Martial Appeals

Following a conviction at court-martial, a service member has several rights with regards the...

Judicial Review and You

Known as “Judicial Review,” federal courts are empowered with the authority to review decisions...

Happy Veterans Day 2011

Today, Friday, November 11, 2011, our nation comes together to celebrate and thank veterans...

Comments are currently closed.