Although some view the U.S. military justice system as out-of-date, a system that permits a commander to mete out severe punishments with little or no due process, it in fact is grounded in the U.S. Constitution and provides several constitutional and due process protections that are not always extended to defendants in civilian courts. This system, unlike the American federal and state systems of criminal justice, applies worldwide. The primary forum for military justice proceedings is the court-martial, a court of limited jurisdiction, which is charged with determining the guilt or innocence of a servicemember and, if that person is found guilty, determining an appropriate sentence. Military servicemembers are generally entitled to appeal their conviction, first to the service's Court of Criminal Appeals and then ...

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