Although a court martial may seem like an extreme measure, the reality is that they are a fairly common occurrence in the military justice system. A recent tally of the U.S. Army’s 59 courts-martial outcomes in June provides context.
As background, each proceeding has its own geographic venue, organized by judicial circuit. In the First Judicial Circuit, which covers states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, seven of the eight courts-martial proceedings involved charges of sexual assault or misconduct.
Notably, over half of those cases resulted in an acquittal of some or all charges. Of those that resulted in sentencing, only two resulted in a dishonorable discharge. The others involved reductions in pay grade, forfeit of monthly pay, and/or confinement.
The tally also included information about the decision-makers in each case. Some cases were heard by military panels comprised of officers and/or enlisted members. In other cases, only a military judge presided.
The information is helpful to get a sense of the variety of legal strategies and tactics that military law encompasses. That diversity requires the experience of an attorney that focuses on military law. Accordingly, a service member who needs legal representation in a criminal or administrative proceeding would be wise to select an attorney with such a specialized focus.
Our military law firm handles representation in a wide variety of military justice issues. Our practice includes, but it not limited to, courts-marital, courts-martial appeals, military record issues, administrative actions, negative evaluations or recommendations, and personal injury or privacy claims.
Source: Army Times, “Army releases results of June courts-martial,” July 19, 2016