Principals. UCMJ ART. 77

Purpose

bestmilitarydefensedefenseattorneys10.02.25PMArticle 77 directs that a person need not personally perform the acts necessary to constitute an offense to be guilty of that offense. It eliminates the common law distinctions between principals in the first degree, principals in the second degree, and accessories before the fact. All of these parties to an offense are deemed principals, are equally guilty of the offense, and may be punished to the same extent.

Article 77 text

“Any person punishable under this chapter who: (1) commits an offense punishable by this chapter or aids, abets, counsels, commands, or procures its commission; or (2) causes an act to be done which if directly performed by him would be punishable by this chapter; is a principal.” Article 77.

Who are “Principals?”

Principals Are Independently Liable

Liability for Other Offenses

Withdrawal as a Principal

Pleading

Relationship to Inchoate Crimes