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Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals

Posted by Ernesto Gapasin | Apr 22, 2016 | 0 Comments

Although a court-martial verdict may feel like the end of the line, the appeals process in the military is actually quite extensive. Special and general courts-martial are reviewed automatically by the convening authority (who can reduce the sentence or charge), and if that re-examination doesn't go your way, you can appeal to the court of appeals for your branch of the military. So members of the U.S. Air Force, listen up! Today we're discussing the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals.

Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals

Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals

What is the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals?

The Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (APCCA) is an appellate court tasked with the duty of hearing and deciding appeals of Air Force court-martial convictions and appeals pendente lite. It is one of four criminal appeals courts for members of the military, the others being the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, and the Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals.

What is the composition of the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals?

Located at the Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, the APCCA is currently composed of three panels. Each panel has three appellate judges. The Chief Appellate Judge has the highest precedence in the court, and he or she determines how many panels there will be and which panel each appellate judge will serve. The Chief Appellate Judge also designates the Senior Appellate Judge, who typically presides over one of the panels. There is also a clerk of the court, a deputy clerk of the court, appellate court paralegals, a Chief Commissioner, and honors law clerks.

When does the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals review a case?

The APCCA conducts mandatory reviews of courts-martial of Air Force members, in accordance with Articles 62, 66, 69, and 73 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). However, the appellant may waive the right to a mandatory review if they wish. The court's jurisdiction includes the following:

  • All courts-martial in which the sentence includes confinement of one year or longer, a bad-conduct discharge, a dishonorable discharge, dismissal of a commissioned officer or cadet, or death.
  • All cases reviewed by the Judge Advocate General of the Air Force and forwarded for review under Article 69(d).
  • Certain government appeals of orders or rulings of military judges that end proceedings, exclude evidence, or concern the disclosure of classified information.
  • Petitions for extraordinary relief (such as writs of habeas corpus, writs of prohibition, and writs of mandamus).
  • Petitions for new trials forwarded by the Judge Advocate General.

What does the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals do?

The court reviews court-martial records. The judges evaluate the laws and facts, weighing the evidence, and reducing the sentence when appropriate.

Where will a case be reviewed after the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals?

If you wish to appeal a review by the AFCCA, the case will head to the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.


To ensure that your appeal goes smoothly, contact the top-quality lawyers at Newsom & Gapasin. You have the right to an attorney at every level of the appeals process, and our experienced and aggressive law firm would be happy to help. We focus on winning tough cases, some of which have been reported on by national media outlets like CNN, Fox News, Time, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. For more information, please give us a call at 1-(888) 919-8265 , send an e-mail to [email protected], or click here to contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Ernesto Gapasin



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