Article 122 Robbery
Article 122 of the UCMJ deals with robbery. If an enlisted member, with
the intention of stealing, takes a valuable item from the plaintiff (maybe
in the presence of another person) against the plaintiff's will, using
means of violence or force (for instance a firearm) or by threatening
him or members of his family with injury (immediate or future), such an
enlisted member will be held guilty of
robbery and receive punishment through a court martial.
Maximum punishment under Article 122
If an enlisted member has used a firearm to commit a robbery, the maximum
punishment includes dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all allowances
and pay and 15 years of confinement.
In all other cases, the maximum punishment that can be slapped on the guilty
enlisted member is a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all allowances
and pay and 10 years of confinement.
Explanation for elements under Article 122
- Taking the property of the victim in his presence
Whether or not the property taken was in the presence of the victim is
irrelevant. For instance, if the accused enters a house and forces the
victim, by issuing threats, to disclose the location of the hidden valuables
in an adjoining room and on getting the information, if he ties up the
owner, goes into that room and steals the valuables, we can say that the
accused committed robbery.
- Taking the property by violence or by force
The accused has used violence or force to commit a robbery if the victim
has been subjected to actual violence or force before, or as the accused
was taking the victim's property against his will. It is immaterial
whether the victim felt fear or not.
If the accused overcame the victim's actual resistance, if he had put
the victim in a position where he could not offer resistance, or if the
accused overcame the resistance offered by a fastening or chain, which
had attached the property to the victim, then it is an act of robbery.
It is not a robbery if the article was snatched from the victim's hands,
if it was taken by stealth, if no force was used and the victim did not
become fearful. But if a earring was snatched from a person's ear
or the person's attention was diverted by the pickpocket's confederate
who jostled him, while the pickpocket removed the victim's watch,
then there is sufficient violence and it becomes an act of robbery. If
a guard takes articles from the person of a prisoner after handcuffing
him, supposedly to prevent the prisoner's escape, it is also included
as an act of robbery.
Robbery also includes larceny
One of the elements of robbery is 'taking property, with the intention
of stealing'. By this definition, larceny becomes an integral part
of the act of robbery and the plaintiff's legal team will have to
Robbing from multiple victims
If the accused has stolen properties of different persons present at the
same place and time, these are separate offenses and each of the acts
will be separately specified.
Lesser offenses included under Article 122
A lesser offense is a charge that the court martial may find the enlisted
member guilty of, even if it has held him not guilty of the original charges.
For instance, a person who has been held not guilty of robbery may be
held guilty of offenses under:
- Article 121 (larceny)
- Article 121 (wrongful appropriation)
- Article 128 (assault, assault that ended in battery)
- Article 128 ( assaulting a person with a dangerous weapon)
- Article 128 (assaulting a person with the intention to inflict grave bodily harm)
- Article 34 (assaulting a person with the intention to rob) and
- Article 80 (attempts)
If this happens, the court may impose the punishments given under the particular
article or articles. For more information on this article, please refer
to the Manual for Courts Martial.