Articles Posted in Up Periscope

so starts a post at wrongfulconvictionsblog–Junk Science Reigns ____ So Much for True Science in the Courtroom.

[W]hen the National Academy of Sciences report Forensic Science in the United States; A Path Forward was published

people thought we might see a true effort to address “junk science being used to convict innocent people.”

The Washington Post has an article by Orin Kerr on a report in the New York Times about a bill introduced in Congress to change or clarify the “mens rea” required in federal criminal statutes.  I probably should not comment on where the proposal may have come from. It is proposed that:

§ 11. Default state of mind proof requirement in Federal criminal cases

If no state of mind is required by law for a Federal criminal offense—

On 29 August 2014, the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense issue a report, Evaluation of DoD Compliance with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

In connection with the U.S. sex offender registry’s, there is now quite a robust amount of research that seems to label the idea as ineffective.  The worst of the worst are likely to commit similar crimes whether or not they are on a registry and under watch.  Fairly regular news reports provide anecdotal support for such a conclusion.  As for the rest, statistics show that sex offenders have a much lower recidivism rate than non-sex offenders.  In addition, there is a question about the basic effectiveness of such laws; as reported in Science Daily, and The Economist, and in a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Criminal Justice Reference Service, in a limited study of South Carolina’s laws.  The criticisms do not suggest no value to such registry’s, rather a more precise and reasoned approach.  You might read a pro-con discussion about sex offender registration policy sponsored by the Federalist Society.  Science Daily notes,

Global Miliary Justice Reform blog brings us news of action in Europe in regard to a U.S. deserter seeking refugee status in Germany – he was avoiding deployment to the AOR.

On 1 January 1977, President Carter pardoned a large number of civilians who had gone to Canada to avoid the draft. The pardon did not extend to deserters, approximately 1000. Many had fled to Canada and were well received there.

During the more recent deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan a number of U.S. military personnel took French leave to Canada, although not solely to Quebec province. Several succeeded in being allowed to remain. Canada must be an interesting place – remember the recent incident of some Afghani officers being among several going AWOL to Canada while here on an educational cruise. As noted below, the Canadian courts have nixed refugee claims of U.S. military personnel.

I was at a conference this weekend on global issues of military justice.  Again this lingering issue of transparency came up.

My friend and colleague Gene Fidell at Global Military Justice Reform, has found a couple of gems.

You can find information about the internal workings of the Army trial judiciary at this link, or by typing “Standing Operating Procedures” into your Google search bar.

For some time now each of the Services have been undergoing a draw-down.

Naturally, you would think that they would cut those with significant misconduct or performance issues, and that there should be any number who would fit into that category.

Here is an interesting piece about some of the reasons most Army majors have been let go.

No this is not a comment on T. Scott McLeod’s book. Nor is it a comment on how to make providence work in your favor, although by the results it could be.

Oh, sorry.  Ya gotta read United States v. Stout, decided by ACCA on 25 July 2014.

The accused plead guilty to abusive sexual contact with a 14 year old, indecent liberty with a child, and possession of child porn, all violations of the UCMJ and prosecuted at court-martial.  The MJ gave him a BCD and 8.  ACCA determined the MJ erred in accepting any of the pleas and set aside the findings and sentence.

Do I have a felony is a frequent question to which the answer is – maybe.  Of course the questioner is interested in the collateral effect of a special or general court-martial conviction.  This becomes particularly important if you continue to commit crimes after release from the brig and the military.

Are courts-martial courts under the Armed Career Career Criminal Act – yes says The Fourth, as do The Ninth and The Seventh.

Pursuant to the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), and section 4B1.4 of the Guidelines, an individual who violates § 922(g) and has “three previous convictions by any court referred to in section 922(g)(1) . . . for a violent felony or a serious drug offense, or both, committed on occasions different from one another” qualifies as an armed career criminal. 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1) (emphasis added).

Did he go AWOL?

In June 2012, Michael Hastings (of GEN McCrystal “fame”) appears to have made that suggestion in a lengthy piece published by Rolling Stone.

The mother and father sit at the kitchen table in their Idaho farmhouse, watching their son on YouTube plead for his life. The Taliban captured 26-year-old Bowe Bergdahl almost three years ago, on June 30th, 2009, and since that day, his parents, Jani and Bob, have had no contact with him. Like the rest of the world, their lone glimpses of Bowe – the only American prisoner of war left in either Iraq or Afghanistan – have come through a series of propaganda videos, filmed while he’s been in captivity.