Friday, June 12, 2020

A military justice ruling from . . . the Supreme Court of Arkansas

It is not every day that a state appellate court has occasion to review a court-martial. As a result, the June 11, 2020 decision of the Supreme Court of Arkansas in Childers v. State, 2020 Ark. 241, makes interesting reading.

At issue on the merits was whether a National Guard chief warrant officer was subject to state court-martial jurisdiction for offenses committed outside periods of inactive-duty training (IDT). Held, citing United States v. Wolpert, 75 M.J. 777 (Army Ct. Crim. App. 2016),  and two earlier federal military cases, there was no personal jurisdiction where the offenses occurred when the accused was not in a duty status.

The majority also held that the State Supreme Court had appellate jurisdiction despite CW4 Adam S. Childers' conditional guilty plea.

State military justice is one of the least studied areas of military law, perhaps because there are so few reported decisions.

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