The 2016 Manual for Courts-Martial (U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Van Syoc)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

A new legal opinion from the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals says court-martialing military retirees is unconstitutional — and the reason concerns the issue of retirement pay.

Chief Judge Navy Capt. James Crisfield delivered the opinion last week, joined by Senior Judges Navy Capt. Marcus Fulton and Marine Col. Jonathan Hitesman. The decision was made as a result of an appeal from retired Chief Petty Officer Stephen Begani, who was court-martialed after leaving the Navy on charges of attempted sexual abuse of a child.

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