Friday, July 4, 2014

Service connection patrol (AAR)

Remember the U.S. Coast Guard case in which the members acquitted a petty officer first class of off-base sexual assault but convicted him of adultery -- where we wondered why it was being tried by court-martial rather than a (civilian) state court? Here's the denouement: the members sentenced him to suffer no punishment, a permissible sentence under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Sounds like they may have been sending a message to the command, doesn't it?

Because the no-punishment sentence does not meet the UCMJ's jurisdictional threshold for review by the Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals, the accused will be able to have his conviction reviewed by that court only if the Judge Advocate General, in his discretion, orders it sent there.

Query: will the adultery conviction spark administrative discharge proceedings or prevent the accused from ever being advanced to chief petty officer? It will certainly deny him a good conduct medal, assuming his record was otherwise unblemished during the pertinent period.

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