Thursday, November 30, 2006

U. S. Armed Forces Code, in Verse: Chapter 47

Also known as
The Uniform Code
Of Justice written
Down as an ode

Each section's also
Numbered sequentially
As "Article X"
Which helps referentially


Chapter 47

801

The subjects about which
This next chapter deals
Are infractions, justice,
Courts, and appeals

802

This section lists whom
These rules are all for
Enlistees, all soldiers,
And prisoners of war

803

Changing your status,
Your hair, or your name
Won't help; they'll find you
And try you the same

804

You can request
If unfairly dismissed
To still be court-martialed
If you really insist

805

The rules of this chapter
Apply on the moon
On Mars, on Jupiter,
And even Neptune

806

A Judge Advocate General
Decides who will judge,
If you don't get picked
Don't hold a grudge

806a

The President sets
Criteria for judges
To ensure their characters
Don't have dark smudges

807

This section permits them
To take you in custody
In order to help preserve
Love, peace, and harmony

808

They also apprehend
Deserters when seen,
When I take custody of
Dessert, it's ice cream

809

They put you in jail
Which is only constraint,
When punishment's considered
The constraint part ain't

810

They usually arrest you
After they charge you
They'll let you know why and
Have a speedy trial, too

811

If asked to guard prisoners
You know that you must
If this interrupts a poker game
You'll have to adjust

812

U.S. mil prisoners
Are never kept chained
With foreign type prisoners
Like spies from Bahrain

813

Unless causing trouble
No prisoner gets punished
Until he's been courted and
Trial is finished

814

If civil authorities
Are getting involved
Continue proceedings
When their case is solved

815

Without a court-martial
An officer may
Punish with less food,
Hard work, or less pay

816

Three types of court-martials:
General, specific,
And summary are available
And all are terrific

817

Each court can decide and
Convict any member
Whether army or navy,
June or December

818

General court-martials
Have great legal breadth
They can try any case and
Can put you to death

819

Special courts, unless
By Prez direction,
Don't put you to death
Or give harsh correction

820

Summary courts give
Lighter corrections
And aren't held against
A soldier's objections

821

The laws in this chapter
Don't take away rights
Of military tribunals
To put out your lights

822

General courts
Are convened by top brass
And not by the guy who is
Prosecuting your butt

823

Lower commanders can
Convene special courts
You still shouldn't show up
In tank-top and shorts

824

Any sized commander
Of squadron or company
Can hold special court
Giving judgment or sympathy

825

Officers can serve
On a court, and most members
If they haven't yet met you
Or at least don't remember

825a

You must have twelve judges
For death deliberation
Or no less than five
In extreme situation

826

This section is all about
The military judge
(By the way, on my ice cream
I'd like some hot fudge)

827

For special courts and generals
The accused gets a lawyer
To ask questions, like "Oh, yeah?"
"Says who?" and "Who saw yer?"

828

When needed, reporters and
Interpreters are allowed,
So long as the courtroom
Can hold a big crowd

829

Once called to a court you
May not be excused,
Make sure that before
The bathroom you've used

830

Charges are signed only
If the guy signing
Has real first hand knowledge or
Has done his divining

831

No one is forced to be
Self-incriminating
Or produce evidence that's
Irrelevant or humiliating

832

All charges must have been
Thoroughly investigated
And to the accused they
Must have been stated

833

Eight days after lockup
All evidence collected
Is sent to the court to be
Further inspected

834

The court then decides
Whether to proceed
Or if for more evidence
There is a need

835

The charges are sent to
The guy in the cell
In peacetime, he's given time
To read them, as well

836

The Prez, if he wants,
Can make up the rules
Which reminds me of recess
In junior high school

837

Non-judges don't decide
For better or worse,
You can't quiz the judges,
And ignore their outbursts

838

Though lawyers are assigned,
The accused has a right
To hire one that finds
Favor in his sight

839

Sessions are held;
Lawyers are doting;
The accused is invited
Except when there's voting

840

Whenever required
Continuance is used
So long as it's needed
And isn't abused

841

You challenge the judges
If you have just cause
And they must recuse if
They have hidden flaws

842

All judges take oaths
The counsels do, too
And each witness swears that
What he says is true

843

There's limited time
Between court and the crime
But days on the run
Doesn't count towards this time

844

You can't be tried twice
If the first court is finished
Respect for the system would
Be greatly diminished

845

Any equivocation,
Or for capital cases,
Is a plea of not guilty
Even if you make faces

846

Defense and offense
Have access to evidence
And all of the witnesses
Regardless of circumstance

847

If called to testify
You may not refuse
They pay for your trouble
So that's not an excuse

848

Anyone who insults
Or a riot attempts
Can be quickly imprisoned
Or fined for contempt

849

Depositions are gathered
If done fair and square
And evidence sent in without
Having to go there

850

A written testimony
Can be read aloud
If the witness is too shy
To speak to a crowd

850a

If insane, and can't even
Tell the difference
Between right and wrong
It's a valid defense

851

When voting, the main judge
Asserts all his clout
And instructs to find guilty
Beyond reasonable doubt

852

The majority for "guilty"
Depends on the degree
Of punishment considered
And its severity

853

A verdict that's reached
Is announced right away
Not put off until it's
Raining anyway

854

A record is made of
Each court and it's signed
And sold on eBay for
Seventeen ninety-nine

855

Killing the accused
Is totally cool
But whipping or branding
Is unusually cruel

856

Cruel and unusual
Is by definition
Whatever the President
Cares to envision

856a

Sentence for life
May also include
Without parole
Which kind of sucks, dude

857

Punishments given
Are immediately effected
Or within two weeks that
The verdict's inspected

857a

However, the sentence
Might be deferred
If some other country
Wants him interred

858

When jailed you may end up
With any odd neighbor
And, even if not said,
May still get hard labor

858a

If any bad-conduct or
Dishonor is proved
Any grade higher than
E-1's removed

858b

You also might lose
Benefits and pay
If a really harsh sentence
Is thrown your way

859

When sentencing's done
It can't be dismissed
Even if trifles like
Minor laws were missed

860

From court it goes to
The convening authority
To decrease or retry
Your case with priority

861

You can waive this review
In cases extenuating
But never in cases where
Your life is terminating

862

Meanwhile, an appeal can be
Made by prosecution
If the court threw out charges
Or important information

863

A rehearing's heard
Only by a new court
And can lessen a punishment
Or give the same sort

864

When performing reviews
The judge advocate
Decides they're correct
Or decides to remit

865

The records are sent
This way and that
Folded into airplanes
Or used as a hat

866

The Judge Advocate General
Handles appeals
He looks at the sentence
And does what he feels

867

You've got sixty days
To file your appeal
Don't just hang around
Keepin' it real

867a

The Court of Appeals
Is still subject to
Writ of certiorari for
Supreme Court review
(If I knew what that meant
I would tell it to you)

868

The Advocate also forms
Branches as he sees
In this way the Advocate
Is similar to trees

869

Shee-yish, this goes on
And is starting to repeat
Can we go back to talking
About my favorite treat?

870

I mentioned before
It was ice cream, I did
Just hand me a carton
And open the lid

871

Mmm, mmm, that was good,
Now where were we now?
Commuting and suspending of
Sentences is allowed

872

Sentences can also
Go on vacation
I wish I could too but
There's too much inflation

873

With any new evidence
Or any fraud fears
Request a new trial
Within two years

874

Some more about commuting
And when it's ok
A part applies only
To after Y2K

875

They try to restore
When commuting is done
The property they took
And your commission

876

All appeals are final
It's over and done
No use in hanging 'round
For the next one

876a

For harsher convictions
Leave is required
Until you start serving,
You're killed, or you're fired

876b

They send you for treatment
If you're found insane
For instance, for thinking
Your gun's candy cane

877

The following sections list
Punishable offenses
And sometimes it may list
Punishments or sentences

878

Not only offenders
But also accomplices
And people who hide
What another accomplishes

879

A lesser offense
Included in a big one
Is not overlooked
In all the confusion

880

Attempting to offend
Is also a problem
Which explains why so much
Of pop music's pablum

881

Conspiring to offend
Which another commits
May bring the conspirators
To guilt as befits

882

Inspiring to offend
Drags guilt right along
(Six sections, and we still don't
Know what behavior's wrong)

883

Finally, we begin:
You may not pretend
When enlisting for service
Or trying to end

884

Which of course would imply
You can't assist others
To do so; this is
Redundant - why bother?

885

Desertion is serious
And not very nice
The punishment is death which
I think should suffice

886

Absence is similar
It's so close a call
I can't tell the difference
Between them at all

887

Missing your boat or
Your plane also counts
I guess they're all punishable
By different amounts

888

Don't speak 'bout the Prez
In contemptuous words
It doesn't specify that these
Words must be heard

889

This also applies to
Superiors above you
If you suspect that
They don't really love you

890

Threatening or ignoring
Your commander's not good
He can put you to death,
Lord knows that I would

891

Same goes for a WO
Except for the death part
You can't disobey him
Or sit on him too hard

892

You must obey someone
Named "General Orders" -
I don't know him either
Or even where he quarters

893

In case you were worried
Commanders have rules,
They can't, in any way, be
Oppressive or cruel

894

Mutiny's another thing
That they think is wrong
If you even don't tattle
You may not live long

895

Resisting arrest is
It's own category
Which seems strange to me -
That's another story

896

You may not free prisoners
Even wrongly secured
They'll go free eventually
So I've been assured

897

But ... this section then
Contradicts the previous,
You may not wrongly
Secure; Ooh that's devious!

898

Don't interfere
With a court proceeding
Or soon with the counsel
You will be meeting

899

Cowardice or chaos
In the face of a foe
Is bad, don't say that
I didn't tell you so

900

Advising a commander
To surrender's a sin
Just what sort of army
Do you think you're in?

901

You can't give an enemy
Any secret signs
Like the on-ramp for I-80
Which I never could find

902

Don't "force a safeguard"
Which means, don't trespass
On places even we don't
Allow; End of class

903

Captured property
Belongs to the military
Don't sell it on eBay
Or start your own company

904

Aiding the enemy
With chats, cash, or arms
Will not be considered
Just one of your charms

905

If captured by enemies
You still might get chided
If the enemy you cozied
Or your fellows derided

906

"Lurking" is apparently
A habit of spies
No ifs, ands, or buts:
The spy always dies

906a

Espionage also
Is spy territory
So pretty much follows
A similar story

907

Lying or signing things
Knowingly untrue
May make your dreams of
Punishment come true

908

Section 903
Disallowed selling loot
Respect for the military's
Stuff follows suit

909

And this section adds to
These others lugubrious
Don't sell or break anything
I hope now that's obvious

910

"Hazarding a vessel"
Means busting an auto
For which they will kill you,
So would my pa, though

911

You may not drive drunk
That's good advice
'Cause negligent manslaughter's
Not very nice

912

As a matter of fact
You can't drink at all,
And you, over there,
Stop playing with that ball

912a

You also can't take,
Sell, or distribute
Drugs; no, not medicine
Don't try to be cute

913

For look-outs and sentinels
The rules are more harsh
Any type of fooling and
They drown you in a marsh

914

Dueling's forbidden
According to this verse
For dueling with banjos
The punishment's worse

915

Don't feign an injury
Or self-inflict one
There's plenty of better
Ways you can get one

916

Starting a riot
Is also forbidden
Such as announcing
Where the booze is hidden

917

They don't explain what
They mean by provoking
In this section; could be
Annoyingly smoking

918

Murder's out, too,
And you also blew it
If killing while robbing
So don't try to do it

919

Killing by negligence
Or killing by passion's
Not murder, but somebody's
Dead, in some fashion

919a

This section's written
Extremely contentiously -
It outlaws abortion,
But doesn't specifically

920

Raping is also
A horrendous crime
Unless clearly consented
And adult at the time

921

Stealing or taking
Are no-no's, of course
Don't take someone's doo-dads
Or knick-knacks by force

922

Stealing while threatening
Violence of some sort
Will be understood as
Robbery by court

923

Don't forge a signature,
Order, or letter,
Wait 'til your handwriting
Gets a lot better

923a

Writing bad checks
Is also not good
Unless simple error
Could be understood

924

This one's about maiming
And sure seems unneeded
So long as the one's against
Assault are heeded.

925

Sex that's "unnatural"
Regardless of gender
Is forbidden, even if
You go slow and tender

926

Burning's another
Action discouraged
Unless it's an enemy
Then it's encouraged

927

Any sort of threat
Is considered extortion
While trying to obtain
What isn't your portion

928

Damaging people
Is considered assault
No matter who started
Or who was at fault

929

Here's burglary, and
It's kind of hard to see
Why this is different
From plain larceny

930

Breaking and entering
Is only a crime
If you plan on committing one
At the same time

931

Lying under oath -
Another repetition
Wasn't section
907 sufficient?

932

And this one's about lying
Against the U.S.
What guys sat down and
Came up with this mess?

933

You must be a gentleman
Not sometimes or maybe,
Apparently even if
You are a lady

934

And last but not least
They can also punish you
For basically anything
Else they want to

935

There's other court types
Of greater simplicity
One that asks questions is
A court of inquiry

936

Only certain people can
Administer oaths
Judges and commanders
But not billy-goats

937

Parts of this code
Are given explaining
As soon as a member
Begins to do training

938

If wronged by a commander
Complain to his one
But do it with care
And have a good reason

939

If your stuff gets stolen
It's the thieves who pay back
Or anyone else near
The scene of attack

940

Any time herein
It mentioned the Prez
He can pass off the buck
To anyone he says

941

The last sections here
Are The Court of Appeals
If you're getting tired
Just think how I feel

942

Judges from various
Political parties
Are appointed, and they must
Be pretty big smarties

943

One of the judges
Is also made chief
If smart, they'll pick one
Whose speeches are brief

944

The court then makes up
The rules as it goes
So what the rules really are
Nobody knows

945

A judge gets retirement
If not him, his heirs,
On account of the funny
Black robes that he wears

946

Each year a committee
Performs a review
Deciding which laws here
To cut or renew

<- Previous | Next ->
Post a Comment