(CNN)Here's a look at courts-martial. The word court-martial refers to both the name of the court where charges are brought against members of the armed forces and the proceedings themselves.
In the United States, the laws of court-martial are set forth in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The UCMJ is the foundation for the military legal system.
The UCMJ has three separate types of courts-martial:
June 30, 1775 - The Continental Congress establishes the first 69 Articles of War to manage the conduct of soldiers. These articles are based on British military laws.
United States v Jackie Robinson - 1944
Jackie Robinson is given a general court-martial in Fort Hood, Texas, for civil disobedience, for refusing to move to the back of an Army bus. His trial is held in August 1944, and he is acquitted of all charges. (This is the same Jackie Robinson who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947, and became a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.)
First Lieutenant William Calley is charged in 1969 with the premeditated murder of 22 Vietnamese civilians during the storming of the small Vietnamese village of My Lai on March 16, 1968. In total, up to 500 civilians were killed. Now known as the "My Lai massacre," Calley is convicted in 1971 of all 22 murders, and is sentenced to life in prison. Calley went on to serve about three and a half years before his release.
After being photographed with other soldiers abusing Iraqi detainees in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Private First Class (PFC) England is given a general court-martial for inflicting physical, psychological and sexual abuse on prisoners. A mistrial is declared after she pleads guilty but then states that she did not know her actions were wrong. At her second trial, England is found guilty of four counts of mistreating detainees, one count of conspiracy and one count of committing an indecent act. England is sentenced to three years in prison and is dishonorably discharged. She is released from prison after less than two years.
Manning is charged with aiding the enemy and more than 20 additional crimes after leaking classified US military and State Department information. Manning is also thought to have sent some of the stolen material to the whistle-blowing website, WikiLeaks. After being found guilty of violating the Espionage Act, Manning is sentenced to 35 years, but the sentence is later commuted after six years by President Barack Obama.
Bergdahl is held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan from 2009-2014. He is charged with one count each of desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty, and misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit or place. In 2017, Bergdahl pleads guilty, receives a dishonorable discharge and is fined.