How far should members of congress or the President, or anyone, get involved in how to prosecute Major Hasan for his acts at Fort Hood. Certainly the victims are entitled to be involved and are required to be through the Department of Defense Victim-Witness Assistance Program. The program does not give politicians or government officials a right to be involved.
This article reports that at least two Congress people are getting involved seeking to influence the prosecution of Major Hasan. Are they creating fodder for various defense motions, making the prosecutions job a political one, or just plain bad form. The talk is about Article 119a, UCMJ, a product of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA), which is an outgrowth of special interests who convinced Congress in 2004 that a fetus is a child. It’s a political issue, it was a political hot-potato then, and potentially still is, albeit there is a statute in place. I guess we should see what other pressures and special interests can get on board to help the prosecutors out, and possibly the defense in the process – I’m sure both sides will be happy for the extra help.
To what extent do state and federal legislators and government officials get involved in the day to day prosecution decisions of the U. S. Attorney, or District Attorney, or Commonwealth Attorney? Is this a regular practice we aren’t used to seeing in the military? Who else will be demanding prosecutions for a specific offense and using their political influence to try and bring this about. A court-martial is a serious affair, there is no place for politics from the right or the left.
As it stands, there is nothing to prevent the prosecution presenting evidence of the pregnancy and asking the members to consider it as aggravation of the seriousness of the offenses.