We are one of the most experienced firms in practice when it comes to court-martial appeals. Mr. Myers and Mr. Conway have published a book on military crimes and defenses. Likewise, Mr. Pristera teaches at The College of William and Mary. We have argued and won cases before every military appellate court.
Recent Appellate victories in 2017 include US v. Cook, US v. Ellis, and US v. Vidal (unreported because we obtained a post-trial Chapter 10 after he served 3 years of a 15 year sentence).
Appealing Convictions from Special and General Court-Martials
Following a special or general court-martial conviction, the first step in the process is to request clemency. The Convening Authority has the ability to set aside the findings or sentence. The Convening Authority can also reduce the sentence. There are new rules in sexual assault cases. The Convening Authority cannot increase the sentence.
Reviews of courts-martial are governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. §§ 859-876, and the Manual for Courts-Martial. The next step is to appeal to the military court of appeals for your branch of service.
You will have a right to a military appointed appellate attorney. You will also have a right to civilian counsel if you desire.
There are five military courts of appeals:
Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
Army Court of Criminal Appeals
Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals
Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals, and
Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals.
You are entitled to a review of your conviction if your sentence is a dishonorable discharge, bad conduct discharge, dismissal (if you are an officer), confinement for at least a year, or death. For other sentences, the courts of appeal have discretion about whether to hear your case or not. You can also petition the Judge Advocate General to order your case to be reviewed by the court of criminal appeals.
If you are unable to obtain review through the appeals court, you also have the right under Article 69 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice to request that your case be reviewed by the Judge Advocate General.
If your appeal to the military appeals court in your branch is not successful, the next step is to consider an appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
Appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. The scope of review by the Court of Appeals is limited. All they will do is look for any legal errors made by the military appeals court. They will not look at the facts and identify any factual errors made. It will only look to see if the military appeals court made a mistake when applying the law to the facts of your situation.
Filing a Writ of Habeus Corpus
The Courts of Criminal Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces can also hear petitions under the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651. These are called writs of habeus corpus and they are generally filed only in extraordinary circumstances when no other avenue of relief is available. This firm is well-experienced in writ practice.
Appealing to the United States Supreme Court
There is a path for appealing to the Supreme Court. The court rarely takes military cases.
Petitions for a New Trial
Insufficiency of the Evidence
Appeals Blog Articles
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