The USS Cole case judge Wednesday found the Marine general in charge of war court defense teams guilty of contempt for refusing to follow his orders and sentenced him to 21 days confinement and to pay a $1,000 fine.
Air Force Col. Vance Spath also declared “null and void” a decision by Marine Brig. Gen. John Baker, 50, to release three civilian defense attorneys from the case, and ordered them to appear before him in person here at Guantánamo or by video feed next week.
At issue was Baker’s authority to excuse civilian, Pentagon-paid attorneys Rick Kammen, Rosa Eliades and Mary Spears from the case of because of a secret ethics conflict involving attorney-client privilege. Also, the general refused a day earlier to either testify in front of Spath, or return the three lawyers to the case.
The Navy actions regarding the collisions of USS FITZGERALD and USS MCCAIN are starting to come more into focus.
Here is a summary report from the Navy of some of the investigations.
Here is the appointment of a Central Disposition Authority for disciplinary actions related to the collisions.
Brock Vergakis, The Virginian-Pilot, 7 June 2017. The VP summarizes:
Black sailors were 40 percent more likely than white sailors to be referred to a court-martial over a two-year period examined by an advocacy group that focuses on military justice. . . .
Military Times is reporting–House lawmakers Wednesday overwhelmingly passed new rules making the secret recording or unauthorized sharing of nude photos a crime under military law, in response to the Marine Corps United scandal earlier this year.
Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) this week will introduce legislation meant to fight nonconsensual sharing of “private, intimate media” in the military, following outcry over the Marine Corps’ nude-photo-sharing scandal.
The Protecting the Rights of IndiViduals Against Technological Exploitation, or PRIVATE Act, “defines when photo sharing is a crime, which is not clear in current law, and addresses questions related to freedom of speech and intent,” McSally said in a letter seeking cosponsors for the bill.
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.