What seems like a minor Government mistake during a court-martial could lead to a successful appeal!
You have heard the phrase “getting off on a technicality.” Every so often an appealing servicemember is able to get his or her conviction overturned because the government counsel or the military judge made an administrative error during the court-martial. Recently, the Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA) reversed an aggravated assault charge because the government failed to properly mark one of the prosecution exhibits. In this case, United States v. Wada one of the charges the servicemember had been found guilty of at his court-martial was aggravated assault of a woman by hitting her with an SUV. The only government witness used an aerial photograph of the scene to testify from. He referred to the aerial photograph throughout his testimony. However, the government failed to mark the aerial photograph properly as a prosecution exhibit. Because the exhibit was not marked properly and because the government’s sole witness was contradicted by two defense witnesses (albeit one of which may have been biased since she was the victim and his dependent), ACCA was unable to find the servicemember guilty of aggravated assault beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, the conviction was overturned based on factual insufficiency. I have a lot of experience defending servicemembers at the court-martial level and at the appellate level. I have had a great deal of success for my clients at both levels. If you or your loved one is facing a court-martial or is looking to appeal a court-martial, you need an advocate who knows what to look for at both levels, what to argue at both levels and what government errors occurring at the court-martial to raise on appeal. Call me now for help, don’t wait. To speak to an experienced court-martial and military defense attorney, call Bill Cassara at 706-860-5769 for a free consultation.