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FAQs About Courts Martial

Have you or a loved one been accused of or charged with a crime while serving in the military? If so, you may now be facing a criminal hearing called a court martial. These proceedings are conducted under military law, also known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or UCMJ. Because military law differs …

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CBD in the Military

Have you noticed that hemp-derived products, including cannabidiol (CBD), are becoming increasingly ubiquitous across the country? You can now find hemp products ranging from coffee additives and vaping liquids to supplements and candies to ointments and creams. Many product labels claim that CBD is a pain reliever and sleep aid, able to treat numerous ailments …

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Could the Former Captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt Face Charges?

The Navy’s top admiral, Mike Gilday, will soon decide the fate of Navy Captain Brett Crozier, the former commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. Then-acting Navy Secretary, Thomas Modly, fired Crozier on April 2 after Crozier emailed more than 20 people outside his chain of command explaining the dire situation regarding his …

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MILITARY JUDGE’S RELATIONSHIP GROUNDS FOR COURT-MARTIAL REVERSAL

The U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) recently ruled that a military judge’s failure to disqualify himself from a case was grounds to reverse the verdict and authorize a rehearing. It stated that the judge’s inappropriate relationship with the prosecutor’s wife undermined “public confidence in the judiciary and military justice system.” STAFF SERGEANT APPEALS …

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NMCCA REVERSES DECISION REGARDING COURT-MARTIAL JURISDICTION OF FLEET RESERVISTS

In a not so surprising turn, the en banc Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (NMCCA) reversed a previous decision that stated that Articles 2(a)(4) and 2(a)(6) violate the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment. The current ruling finds that the jurisdictional schemes of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) apply differently to Fleet Reservists …

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PANEL RELEASES REPORT ADDRESSING ISSUES IN JAG COMMUNITY

PANEL RELEASES REPORT ADDRESSING ISSUES IN NAVY AND MARINE CORPS JAG COMMUNITIES In August of 2019, Richard Spencer, who at the time was the Secretary of the Navy, ordered a review of the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG Corps) and the Marine Corps Judge Advocate (JA) to uncover organizational and procedural issues contributing to …

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ARMY CCA SAYS UNDERAGE DRINKING NOT DEFINED AS PUNITIVE

The Army Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) recently announced that the Army regulation that prohibits underage drinking – AR 600-85, 3-2c – is not punitive. In other words, the regulation may prohibit underaged service members from drinking alcohol, but it does not raise any punitive charges if the regulation is violated. Army CCA judges found …

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NAVY-MARINE CCA REVERSES SEXUAL ASSAULT CONVICTION DUE TO “FACTUAL INSUFFICIENCY”

In United States v. Gilpin, the sexual assault conviction is reversed by the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA). According to the CCA’s review, the conviction was based primarily on testimonies from the alleged victim, which were deemed “factually insufficient.” The victim claimed they had been unconscious due to heavy intoxication while the accused sexually assaulted them, …

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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 Brings 3 Significant Provisions

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA FY20) was recently unveiled by Congress, passed, and signed by President Trump. The NDAA outlines how Congress intends to “raise and support” the military for the next fiscal year, setting budget guidelines and expectations. The NDAA also introduces new military justice provisions for further legislative …

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Mass Arrest Of Marines In Battalion Formation Ruled As Unlawful Command Influence

In July, 16 Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton were arrested while about 800 other military service members joined in a battalion formation. The commanding officer of the battalion asked the Marines to come forward and held a red folder, which is usually used in ceremonies to award service members. Instead of awarding them, though, the …

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