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Types of Courts Martial

Types of Courts Martial

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Published by Michael Waddington
Court Martial and Military Justice
Court Martial and Military Justice

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Published by: Michael Waddington on Jan 10, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/22/2012

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The characteristics of the different types of courts martial aredescribed below.
SUMMARY COURT MARTIAL
A summary court-martial has jurisdiction over all personnel,
except
commissionedofficers, warrant officer, cadets, aviation cadets, and midshipmen, charged with aUCMJ offense referred to it by the convening authority.
-
Composed of one commissioned officer on active duty, usually pay grade O-3 or above
-
The accused member is not entitled to be represented by a military attorney, butmay hire a civilian lawyer at his own expense. [In rare cases, military exigenciesmay preclude the reasonable availability of civilian counsel.] As a matter of Air Force policy, all accused at summary courts-martial are afforded representation bymilitary counsel.
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The accused member may object to trial by summary court-martial, in which casethe charges are returned to the convening authority for further action (e.g.,disposition other than by court-martial or action to send the charges to a special or general court-martial)
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The maximum punishment a summary court-martial may award is: confinementfor 30 days, forfeiture of two-thirds pay for one month, and reduction to thelowest pay grade (E-1)
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In the case where the accused is above the fourth enlisted pay grade, a summarycourt-martial may not adjudge confinement, hard labor without confinement, or reduction except to the next lowest pay grade
SPECIAL COURT MARTIAL
A special court-martial has jurisdiction over all personnel charged with any UCMJoffense referred to it by the convening authority.
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Composed of not less than three members, which may include commissionedofficers and enlisted members (at the accused’s request)
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Usually presided over by a military judge
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The military judge may conduct the trial alone, if requested by the accused
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A military lawyer is detailed to represent the accused member at no expense to theaccused. The member may instead request that a particular military attorney, if reasonably available, represent him or her 
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The member may also retain a civilian attorney at no expense to the government

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