Here is a piece from DVIDS about the 2011 US Japan SOFA clarification. The article has this to say about the new rules regarding civilians:

Under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, SOFA civilians who commit certain crimes overseas can be extradited to the states to be tried in their local U.S. district court.

“The problem with that is it is hard to work,” said [Capt. Jonathan P. Stevens,trial counsel with Combat Logistics Regiment 37, 3d Marine Logistics Group,III MEF]. “All the witnesses and evidence are here, and you have to try to move it all to the states. Sometimes we’re unable to do that.” Additionally, a MEJA prosecution is reserved for serious felonies, said Stevens.

Serious felonies?  Really, one year or more in prison is just about every non-traffic offense in Title 18, no?

Update: Here is a link to the original article on a .mil website.

5 Responses to “Article on New US Japan SOFA, Interesting Perspectives on MEJA and other Topics”

  1. John Harwood says:

    No-Man, the “serious felony” part isn’t just a jurisdictional hurdle to MEJA – you have to convince a US Atty to take the case.  They’re just not interested in a fraud of less than $100k, or a he-said-she-said, etc.  Unless the case is locked up tight, they won’t give you the time of day, in my limited experience.

  2. Some Army Guy says:

    Update: Here is a link to the original article on a .mil website.

    Wow.  That article is almost unreadable.

  3. Zachary Spilman says:

    you have to convince a US Atty to take the case. They’re just not interested in a fraud of less than $100k, or a he-said-she-said, etc. Unless the case is locked up tight, they won’t give you the time of day

    Unless you’re talking about a motor-vehicle offense at Quantico, of course.

  4. Mike "No Man" Navarre says:

    JH–I understand what you are saying, and agree.  But I think the Captain’s stateemtn was aimed at the jurisdictional hurdle, “reserved.”  I just havee always thought that people made more out of the 1-year limit than it really is.  I think the only offense may be simple assaul, six months, but under 18 USC 113, the max punishment is up’d to ten years for “assault with a dangerous weapon, with intent to do bodily harm, and without just cause or excuse.”  And what chargeable assault can’t be charged under that?  Heck, even the making of an animal crush video (18 USC 48) has a 5 year minimum–though it is explicitly extraterritorial–and willful failure to pay child support carries a 1 year maximum.

  5. John Harwood says:

    Nice, Zach!

    Point taken, N-M. The “serious felony” line is a bit of a ruse – what should you expect from the PAO?