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Trial by summary courts-martial is a quick avenue for resolving violations of minor incidents of law by military members. The Court consists of one Officer (usually a judge advocate/attorney). Generally sentences are minor and do not involve prison time. A service member must consent to a Summary Courts Martial or be tried in one of the followomg Courts Martial.
Special Court-Martial is overseen by a judge. There is a prosecutor and defense counsel. The defendant may elect to be tried by jury or judge alone. The jury consists of three servicemembers. In the case of an officer, the jury is made up of three officers. An enlisted servicemember may elect to have 1/3 of the jury be enlisted servicemembers as well. Penalties for Special Court Martial historically have not exceded 6 months confinement as well a monetary fine. Officers tried my by Special Court Martial may not be dismissed from the military.
A General Court-Martial is for more serious crimes such as felonies. The court is overseen by a military judge. There is a prosecuting attorney as well as an attorney for the defense. The jury consists of 5 members 1/3 of which may be enlisted as in the Special Court-Martial. In a General Court-Martial the maximum sentence is death. Other sentences are found under the Code of Military Justice Manual for Courts Martial. As with most Felonies, there is usually a pretrial investigation.