Sexual assault allegations against two students at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy have escalated to court-martial proceedings.
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.
The Department of the Army provides an online resource, outlining the procedural rights of a service member who is subject to an investigation under Article 32 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Although this type of military proceeding is sometimes compared to a grand jury, it is important to understand certain differences.
In civil law, a misdemeanor is not the end of the world. For example, many types of traffic violations are classified as misdemeanors, and a speeding violation or running a red light may involve little more than paying the ticket.
Our military defense law firm generally recommends exploring every possible strategy. For that reason, we believe that it is generally in an accused’s best interest to prepare for the Article 32 evidentiary hearing that precedes a court martial.
A U.S. Navy officer may be facing charges of espionage, according to a recent article. The officer is under scrutiny for other alleged improper behavior, as well. He reportedly committed adultery and hired a prostitute, which could also implicate him under military law.
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.
Readers may be familiar with the acronym AWOL, or absent without leave. An unauthorized absence might subject a military service member to adverse career repercussions, as in today’s story.
Is the military justice system fair? According to some federal lawmakers, the U.S. Army’s misconduct discharges should be reviewed. The group, comprised of 12 U.S. senators, has requested the Army inspector general to review the discharges of service members who had also been diagnosed with various mental health conditions.
A recent example illustrates the serious consequences that can result from a general court-martial. The accused was convicted of a child pornography possession charge. In addition to a bad conduct discharge, the Coast Guard petty officer’s punishments include 30 months of military confinement, pay and allowances forfeitures, and a pay grade reduction.