Volume 208 of the Military Law Review is now available here, and it looks like a good one.  It includes two articles and two book reviews (one by CAAFlog favorite Army JAG Corps Regimental Historian Fred L. Borch III).  The two articles are MAJ Evan R. Seamone, Reclaiming the Rehabilitative Ethic in Military Justice:  The Suspended Punitive Discharge as a Method to Treat Military Offenders with PTSD and TBI and Reduce Recidivism, 208 Mil. L. Rev. 1 (2011) (a 212-page article!), and COL George R. Smawley, In Pursuit of Justice, A Life of Law and Public Service:  United States District Court Judge and Brigadier General (Retired) Wayne E. Alley (U.S. Army, 1952-1954, 1959-1981), 208 Mil. L. Rev. 213 (2011).

3 Responses to “New issue of Military Law Review published”

  1. Disappointed says:

    Major Seamone’s article is a must-read. Having had the pleasure of reviewing it during the drafting process (albeit only the 170-page version!), I regard it as the kind of constructive legal thought which honors both the military justice system and our moral obligation to those wounded in combat. Of note, his article does more than simply propose ideas or find fault with the status quo; he has drafted corresponding changes to the MCM, the Benchbook, and other policy. He’s a gifted writer and intellect who will doubtless shape policy in the future.

  2. Don Rehkopf says:

    Concur with “Disappointed,” but must add that his approach eliminates the major ethical problems inherent in many civilian drug and veterans’ courts.  Major Seamone’s court-martial model presupposes normal “discovery” prior to defense counsel having to advise their clients on their options.  Most of the civilian VTC’s have an initial screening process where they determine if a defendant is eligible for the VTC, i.e., is s/he a veteran with a qualifying physical or mental condition?  If the underlying offense is a felony, the client must waive grand jury action and plead guilty to an agreed upon offense – all without any discovery.  Sentencing is thus held in abeyance pending completion of the program.

    Depending on the prosecutor assigned — who might or might not be astute enough to realize that those with both substance and mental health issues are bound to suffer relapses — a person with a hot urinalysis could end up facing years in prison, if s/he plead to a felony, and much collateral litigation as to whether the waiver of Grand Jury presentment and the plea were truly knowing, intelligent and voluntary sans any normal discovery.

    While the article touts the Buffalo, NY, VTC  (which clearly is a step in the right direction), if it is a misdemeanor for example, most attorneys will by-pass the VTC, in favor of getting discovery and perhaps litigating suppression motions and then take a plea with sentencing deferred pending completion of an appropriate VA program which because there’s a Regional VA Medical Center in Buffalo and one of the VA’s premier PTSD clinics is 40 miles away, is not difficult.

    Seamone’s approach protects the rights of the accused, allows for the effective assistance of counsel and, if appropriate, furnishes clemency via rehabilitation and potential restoration to duty.   We invest a lot of money training some of these folks and in this up-coming “do more with less” DoD environment, Commanders will need to think about both good order & discipline as well as rehabilitation with an eye towards possible return to duty.  It was something that was used extensively during Vietnam and more-or-less faded into obscurity after that fiasco ended.

  3. stewie says:

    The unfortunate problem now is money. When we are trying to get rid of folks for being a percentage point too high on body fat or one time marijuana use because we have to cut 80K troops, it makes it a bit difficult to retain folks who’ve been court-martialed, even with TBI and PTSD unless the goal is simply to separate them otherwise with a discharge that allows them to retain their medical benefits.
    Perhaps a change in the rules should be that you don’t lose your medical benefits if you have TBI or PTSD unless you get a DD.