Article 124 Maiming
This article covers those incidents where an service member inflicts injuries
on another that mutilates, disables or significantly diminishes the latter's
vigor. The accused is guilty of violating this article if he has carried
out this act with deliberate intent to injure.
The elements to be proved under this article are as follows:
- That at a specific time and place, the accused, without any excuse or justification,
inflicted a specific injury upon the victim.
- That this injury either a) mutilated the victim and thus caused serious
disfigurement of the victim, or b) disabled or destroyed a body part of
the victim, or c) severely reduced the physical vigor of the victim by
injuring a body part or any organ.
- That the accused did this act with the deliberate intent to cause physical injury.
Note: Disfigurement means that the accused' injury has caused visible
damage to the victim's person so that his appearance was caused to
significantly detract from his normal appearance.
The accused faces a maximum punishment of dishonorable discharge, forfeiture
of all pay and allowances and 20 years confinement if he is proven guilty
of this offense. Offenses under this article that occurred before October 1
st 2007 are punished with dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and
allowances and 7 years confinement. For more information on this article,
please refer to the Manual for Courts Martial.
Points to Note about Article 124
- The accused is guilty of violating this article even if the victim has
subsequently recovered or may recover use of the body part/ organ or that
the disfigurement may be medically corrected.
- The injury inflicted by the accused should have caused serious impairment
of a reasonably permanent nature for the offense to be considered as violation
of this article.
- It is necessary to establish that the accused had the intent to cause an
injury. Even a person who only intended to cause minor injuries can be
tried under this article if the actual injury sustained by the victim
matches those specified here.
- It is not necessary for the prosecution to show the means by which the
injury was caused.
- Circumstantial evidence to prove intent of the accused is typically admissible
Examples of Article 124
United States v. Allen, 59 M.J. 515 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. 2003), the prosecution established that
the accused was guilty of violating this article by presenting circumstantial
evidence to show injury to infant victim. The accused's intent to
injure was proven and he was convicted under this charge.
United States v. McGhee, 29 M.J. 840 (A.C.M.R. 1989) the wounds/ scars on the victim's person,
which were predominately on the buttocks, were not easily apparent to
a casual observer. The victim also had injuries on the face but these
too were not instantly visible to a casual observer. This resulted in
the decision that there was insufficient evidence to support a maiming charge.