The courts-martial have 3 types of courts: Summary, Special, and General.
Summary Court Martial: Resolution for Minor Misconduct
A summary court-martial offers a simplified procedure to address minor misconduct charges. Typically presided over by a judge advocate, this court comprises a single officer. It is important to understand that the accused must consent to be tried in this manner. In a summary court-martial, the maximum punishment is considerably less severe than that of special or general courts-martial.
Special Court Martial: Intermediate level with variations
The special court-martial serves as an intermediate level within military justice and comes in two variations. The first type involves a military judge, a trial counsel (prosecutor), a defense counsel, and, if chosen by the accused, a four-member panel acting as a jury. Alternatively, the accused may opt for trial solely by the military judge without a panel. In the second type, the convening authority can assign only a military judge to determine guilt, innocence, and the potential sentence. Special court-martial punishments are limited, including confinement up to twelve months, forfeiture of pay, bad-conduct discharge, reduction in rank for enlisted personnel, and other lesser penalties.
General Court Martial: The Highest Level of military courts
The general court-martial represents the most serious level within military courts. It comprises a military judge, trial counsel, defense counsel, and a court panel consisting of six to eight members. Unless a death sentence is possible, an officer or enlisted accused can request trial by the military judge alone. General court-martial punishments vary depending on the offense and can be severe, encompassing death for certain crimes, confinement, dishonorable or bad-conduct discharge, reduction in rank for enlisted personnel, dismissal for officers, and other forms of punishment. Prior to a general court-martial, a preliminary hearing known as Article 32, UCMJ must be conducted, unless waived by the accused.
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- Article 15: https://yountslaw.com/nonjudicial-punishment-article-15-njp/
- Article 92: https://yountslaw.com/what-is-article-92/
- Article 128: https://yountslaw.com/article-128-assault-military-lawyer/
- Article 120: https://yountslaw.com/military-criminal-defense-of-sexual-assault/
- Military Medical: https://yountslaw.com/military-medical-professional-defense/
- Military Religious Freedom & Religious Accommodations: https://yountslaw.com/military-religious-freedom/
- UCMJ Military Corrections and Discharge: https://yountslaw.com/ucmj-military-corrections-and-discharge/
- Article 112a: https://yountslaw.com/article-112a-of-the-ucmj-drug-crimes/