Military Law - POSTED: 2013/04/30 09:55
The U.S. military's highest court has reversed a Marine's conviction for a suicide attempt.
The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces issued the 3-2 split opinion late Monday.
It says a military judge shouldn't have accepted Pvt. Lazzaric Caldwell's guilty plea in 2010 to a charge of wrongful self-injury without intent to avoid service.
Caldwell slit his wrists at Camp Schwab in Okinawa, Japan, after learning of a friend's death back home in California. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and received a bad conduct discharge for that offense and convictions for larceny and violating orders.
The court found Caldwell's guilty plea for the suicide attempt technically insufficient. The majority opinion doesn't address the larger question of whether military suicide attempts should be prosecuted as crimes or considered noncriminal matters requiring treatment.