The bill updates the Colorado code of military justice (code). Sections 1 and 2 of the bill define terms related to the code and clarify the applicability of the code. Sections 4 and 6 authorize commanding officers to arrest any enlisted member, impose certain disciplinary punishments without the intervention of a court-martial, and clarify those punishments and who may impose them. Sections 7 to 9 describe the punishments that may be imposed by general, special, and summary courts-martial. Section 9 also removes a person's ability to refuse trial by summary court-martial.
Section 10 authorizes the assistant adjutant general for the space, cyber, and missile defense for the Colorado National Guard; the land component commander for the Colorado Army National Guard; or the wing commander for the Colorado Air National Guard to convene a general court-martial. Section 11 authorizes certain officers to convene a special court-martial. Section 13 permits a military judge to be detailed to a court-martial irrespective of military branch. Section 14 requires counsel in general or special courts-martial to be appointed as judge advocates. Section 15 classifies as felonies offenses for which an accused may be convicted by general court-martial and receive a sentence of confinement. A conviction by summary court-martial is not a criminal conviction. All other military offenses are misdemeanors.
Section 16 authorizes the state to appeal certain decisions in a court-martial and prohibits the state from appealing a finding of not guilty by a court-martial or trial by military judge only. The bill describes the process for the state to file an appeal.
Sections 17 to 29 make changes to existing offenses in the code. Section 30 creates an offense related to the possession and use of controlled substances.
Section 31 establishes a process by which a member of the military forces may make a complaint against a commanding officer.
Sections 3, 12, 13, and 14 require certain persons already required to be members of the Colorado state bar to be members in good standing.
The bill makes conforming amendments.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)