Not sure how these three issues are related, but a report from the Wash. Times says DoD is moving forward with initiatives to get female soldiers/Marines and officers closer to the battlefield even after several senior officer scandals involving women and news of increased sexual assaults in DoD have occupied the minds of politicians.

An Army Major pled guilty in US District Court to receiving gratuities in return for awarding contracts for supplies and services to local vendors in Iraq reports the AP, via FoxNews here.

Air Force Staff Sergeant Christopher Jackson pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the Lackland basic training instructor debacle, including charges that he instructed one of two recruits he had sex with to lie to investigators, here. Jackson was sentenced to 100 days confinement, 30 days hard labor and reduction to Airman First Class. He did not receive the BCD trial counsel requested, though as a 10 year Airman First Class he’ll likely be separated for high year tenure, no? Any Air Force admin law bubbas out there able to answer that one?

Judge Pohl’s Dec. 20th ruling in the 9/11 military commission trials preventing attorneys from telling the media about even unclassified information was released yesterday. According to the LA Times, here, the order stated that “the attorneys cannot share unclassified information dealing with law enforcement and the military, nor surveillance information, medical records, autopsy reports and the names of the military commission jurors, witnesses and others connected to detention operations.” I’ll post a link to the order once I get on-line [Updated:  Ruling here and protective order here.]

16 Responses to “Military Justice News for Jan. 4, 2013”

  1. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    What is the past tense form of the verb to plea? I prefer pleaded myself, so the second paragraph started out with a clank to my ear, with an Army Major who pled guilty. (Heh, the spell-checker for the comments section doesn’t like the word “pled”.)

    But then in the very next paragraph, the Air Force Staff Sergeant pleaded. Why the difference? Couldn’t be a cut-n-paste issue, because both linked news articles use pleaded. Is it an officer-enlisted thing? Major pled, Sergeant pleaded? Army-Air Force? Or is it simply an unexplainable mystery?

    A Happy New Year to all,
    CS

  2. Mike "No Man" Navarre says:

    One was typed walkiing out of the DuPont Circle metro, the other was typed when in the utnnel under Union Station. Maybe the finer air at DuPont led to clearer thinking. Once I hit DuPont Circle, whatever is in the post pretty much ends up getting published.

  3. Mike "No Man" Navarre says:

    Above the Law conducted a poll and got various responses, http://abovethelaw.com/2011/12/grammer-pole-of-the-weak-pleaded-v-pled/. If common usage is the standard, both are probably correct.

  4. Bill C says:

    The fact that people had enough free time to pose this question in a poll is disturbing. The fact that I took the time to read it is even more distubing.

    I saw the article on Judge Pohl’s decision in the Army Times. A commenter replied that he made this decision because he did not want the world to know that these individuals did not cause 9/11 but the U.S. government did. He is an active duty soldier. Darn. They are on to us. Judge Pohl is also part of the conspiracy.

  5. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    Bill C–I take breaks from searching for my emerald ring to ponder insignificant but compelling grammar questions like pleaded vs. pled. Volokh went to the trouble of doing research on the issue. http://www.volokh.com/2010/11/12/horace-and-westlaw/

    A quick google search for “pleaded or pled” shows that there are a frightening number of people with the free time to ponder the question. I prefer No Man’s conclusion that the local atmospheric conditions control grammar.

  6. Bill C says:

    Touche’

  7. Justin L says:

    In regards to the separation question, normally we’d admin discharge someone who was convicted but who did not receive a BCD/DD. AFI 36-3208 allows the Air Force to separate Airmen for “commission of a serious offense” even while they are in confinement, so the likely COA will be for the command to discharge the Airman with execution of the discharge held in abeyance until the term of confinment is complete. Under that process, the Airman separates with a general service characterization… i.e., no GI Bill. Otherwise, you are correct that the Airman would separate under high-year tenure rules… with an honorable.

  8. Dew_Process says:

    There’s little likelihood that the RoT, post-trial processing and review in the Office of TJAG will be done before his confinement is completed.

    Second, unless Jackson’s counsel are totally asleep (and the positive results on sentencing certainly suggest otherwise), they will first point out the obvious, that Jackson is entitled to a Board hearing IAW AFI 36-3208, para. 6.2.2.2, as he’s got more than 6 years of total active service.

    Third, if Jackson has a prior Honorable discharge from a prior enlistment (which with 10 years, he’s got to have at least one), he gets ALL of his VA benefits. So that’s not a factor here.

    A smart SJA is going to first look at when his current enlistment is up. That is important for a couple of reasons. First, is there enough time left on this current enlistment for him to appear before a promotion board and get a stripe back? If not, he’s gone under HYT provisions and a smart SJA will no doubt ensure that a Bar to Re-enlistment is perfected as soon as possible.

    The real question is that considering the fact of his minimal sentence (meaning, strong argument that the “misconduct” was not “serious,” and there’s facially apparent “rehabilitation potential,” does the SJA and command want to go through all of the trouble, expense and aggravation of a contested Board hearing with the hope that he might get a “general” discharge that has zero affect on him or his GI benefits?

    You want him gone, gone quickly and with little fuss? Cut a deal – the CA disapproves all remaining confinement and hard labor IF he agrees to a General Discharge and Board Waiver. Most clients sitting in a confinement facility would jump at that in a heartbeat. Just my 2 cents….

  9. Christopher Mathews says:

    Second Justin L’s comments. Admin discharge under such circumstances is pretty much the norm.

  10. Nancy Truax says:

    CS: Isn’t “plea” a noun? And isn’t the infinitive of the verb “to plead”?

  11. Zachary Spilman says:

    It’s pleaded. Also, only one space after a period.

  12. Christopher Mathews says:

    ZS:  It’s people like you what cause unrest.

  13. Gene Fidell says:

    As a 1L I had a Property professor who promised not to call on students if they notified him in advance in writing that they were unprepared for the morning’s Kingsfield-style socratic dialogue. One day I submitted the following note:
    To A in fee simple,
    To B for life,
    Please spare me this morning all classroom strife. 
    The answers I have are surely not needed
    And so with this note ’tis “Unprepared” I’ll have pleaded. 
     
    True to his word, he didn’t call on me, but he did read my poem to the class. 

  14. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    Nancy Truax–Touché.  The weather was rather dank yesterday at Porthellick Cove.

  15. John S says:

    A good separation deal for both sides may be for the client to submit a post-trial Chapter 10.  Much less of a hassle for the command.  Usually these carry an OTH discharge, but the client avoids the federal conviction… 

  16. John Harwood says:

    I think that’d be good strategery, John S, in a normal case.  Considering the high-profile nature of the Lackland cases, though, I can’t imagine the CA doing any deal that takes away the conviction.