The court-martial of Mrs. Covert did not meet Art. III, § .2 or the Fifth and .Sixth Amendments which clearly state that all criminal trials must be by jury, irrespective of where the crime is committed. Fifth and Sixth Amendments highlight that ‘no person’ and ‘all criminal prosecutions’ as vital ingredients of trial where civil rights of American citizens in a foreign land are in jeopardy. The supremacy of American citizens over treaty with foreign government is held by Article VI that declares that ‘This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof, and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land. …’.
In the case, Mrs. Clarice Covert was the Petitioner and Mr. Reid was Respondent in the case number 701 in the trial court in 1955-56. Mrs. Clarice Covert had killed her husband, Edward Covert who was at that time serving the US Air Force as Sergeant and was stationed in England. She was court-martialed in England by The US Air Force under Uniform Code of Military Justice within the broader context of the treaty with England, which entailed that crimes committed in a foreign land by relatives serving in defense forces would be tried in American court-martial and not by the foreign government. Mrs. Covert was held guilty of the crime of murder by UCMJ and sentenced to life imprisonment.
When brought back to West Virginia, she appealed against her verdict and US Court of Military Appeal set aside the conviction due to the technical issue of ‘insanity’ which Mrs. Covert was medically found to be suffering from when the crime was committed by her.