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REID V. COVERT, 351 U. S. 487 (1956)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Reid v. Covert, 351 U.S. 487 (1956)

Reid v. Covert

No. 701

Argued May 3, 1956

Decided June 11, 1956

351 U.S. 487


Pursuant to Article 2(11) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the dependent wife of a United States Air Force sergeant was tried and convicted by a military court-martial in England for the murder of her husband there. She was sentenced to life imprisonment and brought to a federal prison in the United States. On appeal, her conviction was set aide, and she was transferred to the District of Columbia jail to await retrial by court-martial at an air base in Washington, D.C. While there, she petitioned the local federal district court for a writ of habeas corpus, claiming that she was not subject to military jurisdiction because Article 2 (11) was unconstitutional. The court ordered the writ to issue, directed to the Superintendent of the jail, and he appealed directly to this Court.


1. Article 2(11) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice is constitutional. Kinsella v. Krueger, ante, p. 351 U. S. 470. P. 351 U. S. 488.

2. As custodian of a federal prisoner, the Superintendent of the jail is an officer or employee of the United States for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1252, and this Court has jurisdiction of his direct appeal under that section. Pp. 489-490.

3. Military jurisdiction, once validly attached, continues until final disposition of the case. Therefore, jurisdiction of the Air Force to try appellee by court-martial under Article 2(11) was not lost by her return to the United States and delivery to the custody of civilian authorities. Toth v. Quarles, 350 U. S. 11, distinguished. Pp. 351 U. S. 490-492.

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Page 351 U. S. 488

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