CORE CRIMINAL LAW SUBJECTS: Crimes: Article 134: Child Pornography

2021 (October Term)

United States v. Richard, 82 M.J. 473 (prejudice to good order and discipline can be assumed or implied based on the misconduct of the accused). 

(to obtain a conviction for producing, possessing, and distributing child pornography charged under Article 134, UCMJ, the government is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt both that appellant engaged in the alleged conduct and that the general article’s “terminal element” was satisfied, meaning that the conduct either: (1) prejudiced good order and discipline in the armed forces; (2) was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces; or (3) was otherwise a noncapital crime or offense). 

(in this case, where the government charged appellant with producing, possessing, and distributing child pornography under Article 134, UCMJ, and elected to charge only that appellant’s conduct was prejudicial to good order and discipline as the terminal element, appellant’s child pornography-related convictions under the general article were not legally sufficient where the government failed to proffer any evidence at appellant’s court-martial that demonstrated how appellant’s behavior prejudiced good order and discipline, and instead focused on proving the solely that appellant had engaged in the alleged misconduct).   

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