10 U.S. Code § 856 - Art. 56. Maximum limits

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The punishment which a court-martial may direct for an offense may not exceed such limits as the President may prescribe for that offense.


(Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 56; Pub. L. 113–66, div. A, title XVII, § 1702(a)(1), (2)(A),Dec. 26, 2013, 127 Stat. 959.)
Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 113–66, div. A, title XVII, § 1705(a)(1), (2)(A), (c),Dec. 26, 2013, 127 Stat. 959, 960, provided that, effective 180 days after Dec. 26, 2013, and applicable to offenses specified in subsection (b)(2) of this section committed on or after that date, this section is amended: (1) by amending the section catchline to read as follows: “§ 856. Art. 56. Maximum and minimum limits”; (2) by inserting “(a)” before “The punishment”; and (3) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
(b)(1) While a person subject to this chapter who is found guilty of an offense specified in paragraph (2) shall be punished as a general court-martial may direct, such punishment must include, at a minimum, dismissal or dishonorable discharge, except as provided for in section 860 of this title (article 60).
(2) Paragraph (1) applies to the following offenses:
(A) An offense in violation of subsection (a) or (b) ofsection 920 of this title (article 120(a) or (b)).
(B) Rape and sexual assault of a child under subsection (a) or (b) ofsection 920b of this title (article 120b).
(C) Forcible sodomy under section 925 of this title (article 125).
(D) An attempt to commit an offense specified in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) that is punishable under section 880 of this title (article 80).
See 2013 Amendment notes below.

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised section Source (U.S. Code) Source (Statutes at Large)
856 50:637. May 5, 1950, ch. 169, § 1 (Art. 56), 64 Stat. 126.

The word “may” is substituted for the word “shall”.

2013—Pub. L. 113–66substituted “Maximum and minimum limits” for “Maximum limits” in section catchline, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), and added subsec. (b).
Effective Date of 2013 Amendment

Amendments by Pub. L. 113–66effective 180 days after Dec. 26, 2013, and applicable to offenses specified in section 856 (b)(2) of title 10 committed on or after that date, see section 1705(c) ofPub. L. 113–66, set out as a note under section 818 of this title.

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10 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large
§ 8562013113-66 [Sec.] 1705(a)(1), (2)(A)127 Stat. 959

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32 CFR - National Defense



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