If a military member is convicted and sentenced in a General Court-Martial or Special Court-Martial trial, and after the post-trial clemency process is completed, the military member still has post-trial appeal opportunities.
Depending upon the length of the court-martial sentence, the military member can either appeal to the Judge Advocate General (TJAG) of his/her service branch or the military branch appellate court. The following appellate courts review military courts-martial:
- The Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA)(www.jagcnet.army.mil/acca)
- The Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (AFCCA)( http://afcca.law.af.mil/)
- The Navy-Marine Court of Criminal Appeals (NMCCA)(http://www.jag.navy.mil/nmcca.htm)
- Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals (CGCCA)(http://www.uscg.mil/legal/cca/court_of_criminal_appeals.asp)
- United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF)( http://www.armfor.uscourts.gov/newcaaf/home.htm)
- United States Supreme Court (http://www.supremecourt.gov/)
These appellate courts review the court-martial for legal error, factual sufficiency, and appropriateness of sentence. The following post-trial rules govern the court-martial appeal process:
- Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM) Chapter XII: Appeals and Review
- RCM 1201: Action by the Judge Advocate General
- RCM 1202: Appellate Counsel
- RCM 1203: Review by a Court of Criminal Appeals
- RCM 1204: Review by the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
- RCM 1205: Review by the Supreme Court
- RCM 1206: Powers and Responsibilities of the Secretary
- RCM 1207: Sentences Requiring Approval by the President
- RCM 1208: Restoration
- RCM 1209: Finality of Courts-Martial
- RCM 1210: New Trial
- UCMJ Article 62: Appeal by the United States
- UCMJ Article 63: Rehearings
- UCMJ Article 64: Review by a Judge Advocate
- UCMJ Article 65: Disposition of Records
- UCMJ Article 66: Review by Court of Criminal Appeals
- UCMJ Article 67: Review by the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
- UCMJ Article 68: Branch Offices
- UCMJ Article 69: Review in the Office of the Judge Advocate General
- UCMJ Article 70: Appellate Counsel
- UCMJ Article 71: Execution of Sentence; Suspension of Sentence
- UCMJ Article 72: Vacation of Suspension
- UCMJ Article 73: Petition for a New Trial
- UCMJ Article 74: Remission and Suspension
- UCMJ Article 75: Restoration
- UCMJ Article 76: Finality of Proceedings, Findings, and Sentences
Although a military member may have been convicted and sentenced in a court-martial trial, and the conviction and sentence may have been approved by the court-martial Convening Authority in the post-trial clemency process, there are still opportunities for relief and/or appeal. A court-martial conviction and sentence can have devastating legal, professional, personal and family consequences. Experienced and aggressive defense representation is crucial in the post-trial appeal phase of a military court-martial trial.
Defending military members in court-martial trials, court-martial clemency and court-martial appeal is what civilian court-martial defense lawyers Richard V. Stevens and Frank J. Spinner do. The only type of law they handle is military law. Mr. Stevens and Mr. Spinner are civilian criminal defense attorneys and former military JAG lawyers who exclusively defend military members stationed around the world who are facing military trials, discipline and investigations.
Attorney Frank J. Spinner is one of the most well known civilian appellate lawyers practicing before the military appellate courts. Before retiring from active duty as a JAG attorney, Frank Spinner served two tours with the Appellate Defense Division; one tour as Chief Appellate Defense Counsel. He specializes in military court-martial appeals.
If you’re facing military court-martial allegations, post-trial processing, or court-martial appeal, don’t hesitate to seek the legal help you’re going to need. For a free initial case consultation, please contact us.