Understanding Court Martials

Understanding Court Martials

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Understanding Court MartialsWhat is a Court Martial?


The procedures and legislative processes implicit within the investigation - and prospective military judicial oversight - with regard to issues involving alleged criminal offenses occurring within the realm of the United States Armed Forces are determined upon sentencing with regard to legislature expressed within the expanses of military law. Upon sentencing, a court martial may take place in the event that a conviction is imposed from the applicable military court. Court Martials may mirror the legal process that exists within civil court, yet military personnel – service members and prisoners of war – are the only individuals able to be subject to such proceedings. Matters involving service members enlisted in the United States Armed Forces may constitute overlapping legal fields with regard to the corresponding legal proceeding. Military law – with regard to any or all protocol existing in conjunction to the sentencing of a court martial – varies on bothon a locational basis, as well as a jurisdictional one.


Court Martial Sentencing


The following methodology may be enacted in the event that the legislative body responsible for military judicial oversight acts to impose a court martial sentence:


1.    Those serving in the United States Military do so under the implicit understanding service members may be subject to Military Court hearings in lieu of Civil Court hearings. Due to the fact that a court martial sentence cannot – and does not – legally exist within a civilian setting, a court martial exists solely under the jurisdiction of Military Law.


2.    Individuals in the service of the United States Armed Forces are subject to their respective adherence to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), which is a code of legislative protocol with regard to legal matters applicable to service members enlisted in the Armed Forces.


3.    Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG) serve as the judicial body responsible for legal oversight with regard to service members enlisted in the United States Armed Forces. JAG Corps not only oversee the court martial process, but also are responsible for upholding the maintenance of the protocols and parameters expressed within the UCMJ; stipulations for the enactment of a court martial sentencing exist within the expanses of the Uniform Code for Military Justice


Offenses Resulting in a Court Martial


The following offenses may result in a court martial sentencing upon the finding of a guilty verdict:


Absent Without Leave (AWOL): The unlawful desertion of a service member with regard to their respective commitment to the United States Armed Forces; individuals deemed to have abandoned positions may be tried by military court and subsequently court martialed.


Treason: The act of treason is defined as an act of sabotage, disloyalty, or sedition committed by a citizen – or citizens – directed at the specific country or nation to which that citizenship belongs.


Military Rape: Within the scope of Military Law, this nature of rape is the illegal and unlawful engagement of a sexual act involving military personnel; similarly to civilian rape, military rape exists in a non-consensual fashion, typically taking place through threat, force, or exploitation – military rape may be punishable by court martial.

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