Military must pursue courts-martial properly | Law Offices of David P. Sheldon
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Military must pursue courts-martial properly

Those who serve in the military can face a court-martial for a variety of offenses. However, when pursuing courts-martial against its service personnel, the military must ensure it does not infringe upon any protected rights. A lance corporal at Camp LeJeune received a court-martial after she refused to take down a Bible verse that was posted in her work space. District of Columbia readers are aware of the fact that the military cannot infringe upon the rights of those who are active in any faith.

The woman was ordered to take down the verse after her supervisor declared that the tone was inappropriate, but she refused. The verses were taken down at the end of the day, but she reprinted them the following work day. Following this exchange, a court-marital was filed against her. Several organizations have spoken out against this action, stating that religious freedom will be at risk if she is punished for posting Bible verses in her work area. A brief filed for her defense stated that her supervisor actually violated her constitutional rights. 

The lance corporal has the right to defend herself against the court-martial. Her defense team believes that her decision to post Bible verses up does not impact good order and discipline, and that they were not distracting to others who worked around her. It is thought that she has substantial burden of proof that her religious rights were censored.

Military laws are complex, and it is important for service personnel to have experienced legal counsel if they are facing courts-martial. Such charges can have a major impact on a military career and future, but the right District of Columbia legal team can confront any charges with an effective, appropriate defense. The best way to protect one's rights if facing a court-martial is with the assistance of a lawyer who is experienced in this particular legal area.

Source:, "Military warned over Bible-verse court-martial", Bob Unruh, Dec. 23, 2015

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