The Marine Times reports that Congressman Walter Jones of North Carolina sent this letter to the DoD Inspector General inquiring about the status of the investigation into the “allegations the Marine Corps commandant and his legal advisers manipulated criminal cases stemming from a vulgar war-zone video.”

The Marine Times also reports that the Government has petitioned CAAF for reconsideration in the case of United States v. Hutchins.

The Voice of America reports on panel selection in the Hasan trial at Fort Hood.

Reuters reports that the Defense has rested its case in the Manning trial. Also, The Guardian laments the lack of contemporaneous public access to the case documents (see also Center for Constitutional Rights, et al. v. United States and Colonel Lind).

And U.S. News & World Report printed another item written by Senator Gillibrand of New York about the issue of sexual assault in the military. She writes:

… listen to the military leadership. Gen. James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, said in a speech earlier this year, “Why wouldn’t female Marines come forward? Because they don’t trust us. They don’t trust the command. They don’t trust the leadership.”

It has become crystal clear that victims have no confidence that justice can be obtained within the chain of command. According to the Pentagon, half of female victims do not report because they do not believe anything will come of it. This lack of faith in the system, and systemic fear of retaliation and retribution, has a chilling effect on reporting, which leaves offenders free to attack again without consequence.

10 Responses to “Military Justice News for July 11, 2013”

  1. Ed says:

    The following day defense counsel filed a response and filed a motion for remand.

  2. k fischer says:

    In response to the flawed narrative that Senator Gillibrand continues to promote, I offer this article  from Rosa Brooks, a Georgetown law professor who previously served as served as a counselor to the U.S. defense undersecretary for policy from 2009 to 2011.  Interesting article, but I think Professor Brooks overstates the numbers of unwanted sexual contact in the military at 26,000.  Even Senator McCaskill realizes that these numbers are flawed in that they include an unwanted stare or crude comment.  I think that the college numbers Professor Brooks uses require some sort of physical contact, and even using the 26,000 figure for the military, it appears that women are far more at risk at our universities than in the military.

  3. Weirick says:

    Re Hutchins.
    The Office of the Solicitor General files these motions as a matter of course with SCOTUS.  Officially captioned “Are You Sh*%#ng Us? The Government Must Win!” petitions for reconsideration.  60% of the time, the petitions are granted every time.     

  4. k fischer says:

    Here is another law professor who downplays the military sexual assault crisis.

  5. Christopher Mathews says:

    @ kf – … it appears that women are far more at risk at our universities than in the military.

    Let’s concede the point that there are lots of places, here and abroad, in which women are “more at risk” than the armed forces of the United States.  Is that enough?  Should saying, “well, we’re not as bad as a frathouse party or a riot in Egypt” be the end of the discussion? 

  6. stewie says:

    The problem though CM is that we’ve entered a crisis mode with the potential for over-reactions because of the presentation that this is, well, a crisis.  So yes you are correct that we aren’t really comparing to great company but if the problem is a human one, not a military one, and one where the military is actually doing better at arguably, then is there a need for extreme changes and would they have a significant impact worth the negatives?

  7. Christopher Mathews says:

    I think it’s true that we handle sexual assault cases far better than most civilians do.  I also think that fact isn’t particularly relevant.  We’re being evaluated against the standards we profess to hold for ourselves.  By those standards, the past few months — or more — have not been particularly glorious.

  8. stewie says:

    The standard we hold for ourselves is zero tolerance.  When’s that ever going to be met?

  9. Charlie Gittins says:

    This from the VOA article on the Hasan case:
    “When that panel, that jury, gets to the point of voting on each offense, if one member votes not guilty, then the verdict is not guilty.  So it is a much more difficult burden for a military prosecutor,” he said.

    WTF?  This guy is supposedly an expert? 

  10. k fischer says:

    I concur with Stewie.  
    Also, I don’t think the military should point our fingers at frat houses and the way Islamic countries treat their women and say, “At least we aren’t that bad!”  That solves nothing.  I think this article highlights the unfairness of the villification of the military for its prosecution of sexual assault crimes in the military because the military has admitted that sexual assault is a problem, has taken great steps to eradicate the problem, yet nobody seems to want to recognize this effort.  Instead, the perception is so bad that there are articles about females not wanting to join the military out of fear that they will be raped.
    So, I agree that the military should continue to strive to eradicate sexual assault from its ranks and not mitigate incidents of sexual assault simply because they are better than everyone at prosecuting it. Certainly, any amount of sexual assault is a problem.  But on the flip side, the narrative being floated by many in the media and certain members of Congress who are using flawed statistics unreasonably villifies the military who is composed of folks who, except for the minute few who are too aggressive or too passive, are doing the best job they can.  I think these articles address this point.