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Sailor’s conviction overturned due to judge’s suspended law license

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The Navy legal system is making some changes after a military judge’s failure to renew her law license resulted in at least one botched court-martial.

A decision handed down by the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals found that the findings and sentence of Aviation Electrician’s Mate First Class Aaren Painter, a USS Essex sailor convicted in February of photographing unclothed shipmates without their consent, should be set aside and a rehearing authorized. The problem, the appellate court found, was that the military judge assigned to the case hadn’t been eligible to practice law at the time.

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