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Thread: Senate blocks military sexual assault bill

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    Senate blocks military sexual assault bill

    (CNN) -- The U.S. Senate on Thursday defeated an impassioned legislative push to reduce the growing problem of sex assault in the armed forces by overhauling the way the military prosecutes serious crimes.By a vote of 55 to 45, a bill championed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand failed to get the 60 votes needed for passage.
    The measure would have removed military commanders from deciding whether most serious allegations of wrongdoing by their subordinates should be prosecuted.
    Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, said the change was needed because bias can creep into the decisions of commanders and that has led to many sex assaults not being prosecuted.


    Read more @: Senate blocks military sexual assault bill - CNN.com

    What a travesty. This is a terrible step in the right direction. This bill would of done so many good things and of made the system more just, but this unfortunately did not past.


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    Re: Senate blocks military sexual assault bill

    Remember when 51 was a majority? I miss that.

    Otherwise, I wonder which party most of those 45 votes came from.
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    Re: Senate blocks military sexual assault bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Remember when 51 was a majority? I miss that.

    Otherwise, I wonder which party most of those 45 votes came from.
    10 republicans voted in favor 10 dems voted againist it
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    Re: Senate blocks military sexual assault bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Remember when 51 was a majority? I miss that.

    Otherwise, I wonder which party most of those 45 votes came from.
    Just to make the point, I am a democrat and I would have voted against the bill. The goal is worthy, the method chosen in the bill flawed.
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    Re: Senate blocks military sexual assault bill

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Read more @: Senate blocks military sexual assault bill - CNN.com

    What a travesty. This is a terrible step in the right direction. This bill would of done so many good things and of made the system more just, but this unfortunately did not past. [/FONT][/COLOR]
    Its a shame it didn't pass. Military commanders should have nothing to do with criminal prosecutions.I know from my experience in military the higher ranking the person the more integrity it was perceived that person had while the lower the rank the person had the less integrity that person had. Its kind of akin to those Middle eastern laws where a woman's word isn't worth **** or slavery days or jim crow reconstruction era laws where a black man's word wasn't ****.Basically if a lower ranking soldier accused a higher ranking soldier of wrong doing then that lower ranking better have some video evidence and maybe a couple of other soldiers to back him or her up while the opposite is true if a higher ranking soldier accused a lower ranking soldier of wrong doing.

    We wouldn't let this sort **** happen in the civilian world.If a supervisor sexually assaults an employee then that employee goes straight to the police and the police handles it.There would be no going to the store manager, general area manager or trying to have the company handle a case that could possibly tarnish its image.
    Last edited by jamesrage; 03-06-14 at 06:19 PM.
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    Re: Senate blocks military sexual assault bill

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    We wouldn't let this sort **** happen in the civilian world.If a supervisor sexually assaults an employee then that employee goes straight to the police and the police handles it.There would be no going to the store manager, general area manager or trying to have the company handle a case that could possibly tarnish its image.
    I'll ask out of ignorance, if the officer decides that the case doesn't merit investigation/prosecution is that the end of the situation? Or are there other channels a victim can use?
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    Re: Senate blocks military sexual assault bill

    Bill should have been stalled. Every branch has implemented programs and protocols to combat sexual assault. Early signs indicate they're working. I'd prefer we wait and see how effective the new push is before stripping prosecutorial discretion from the military.

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    Re: Senate blocks military sexual assault bill

    Having worked directly FOR a Company commander and in Battalion headquarters... I agree with Jamesrage on this one. Too many commanders are hot heads and only think about their own careers. For whatever reason in many places in the Army, an incident like this, while its mere occurrence is not the fault of the Commander, tarnishes that commander's image. Why the military insists on blaming those in supervisory positions for the off duty activities of their subordinates is beyond my ability to comprehend. Therefor, Commanders often try their best to keep this **** on the down low so as to not have it effect their precious ORB and upward mobility.

    Also... those hardcore military types, spare me the generalized and unspecific reasons why negative off duty actions of soldiers is the responsibility of their superiors. I have a brain of my own, I don't let the military do the thinking for me... and the military's reason just doesn't hold water.
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    Re: Senate blocks military sexual assault bill

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Read more @: Senate blocks military sexual assault bill - CNN.com

    What a travesty. This is a terrible step in the right direction. This bill would of done so many good things and of made the system more just, but this unfortunately did not past. [/FONT][/COLOR]
    Perhaps the better approach would get all the politics out of enforcing the UCMJ. The other problem is that just like civilian courts, the JAGs have been pushing for using other means instead of full courts. Since a person can be kicked out of the military under an Article 15, Non Judicial Punishment, and receive an Other Than Honorable Discharge, removing veteran benefits, this has become more and more used, like plea bargaining, to reduce court costs. Quite often, it is the JAG and ADC (Area Defense Council) which has been pushing Commanders for this. So, in a large number of these cases, it is not the Commanders with Courts-Martial Authority that has been doing this on their own, but have been doing at the advice of the JAG.

    Also, even when a court is called. The military judges are issuing special instruction and sentencing guidelines that does not offer the panels full punishments authorized under the UCMJ.

    For example.

    918. ART. 118. MURDER
    Any person subject to this chapter whom without justification or excuse, unlawfully kills a human being, when he- -
    (1) has a premeditated design to kill;
    (2) intends to kill or inflict great bodily harm;
    (3) is engaged in an act which is inherently dangerous to others and evinces a wanton disregard of human life; or
    (4) is engaged in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of burglary, sodomy, rape, robbery, or aggravated arson;
    is guilty of murder, and shall suffer such punishment as a court-martial may direct, except that if found guilty under clause (1) or (4), he shall suffer death or imprisonment for life as a court-martial may direct.

    Notice that the actual law and sentencing guidelines in the UCMJ specifies death or life in prison as the only two options in some cases.

    920. ART. 120. RAPE AND CARNAL KNOWLEDGE
    (a) Any person subject to this chapter who commits an act of sexual intercourse with a female not his wife, by force and without consent, is guilty of rape and shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct.
    (b) Any person subject to this chapter who, under circumstances not amounting to rape, commits an act of sexual intercourse with a female not his wife who has not attained the age of sixteen years, is guilty of carnal knowledge and shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
    (c) Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete either of these offenses.

    Notice that in the case of rape, Death is an available sentence if special instructions are not given.

    Congress is trying to fix a problem with that bill that would be corrected if the system was allowed to function properly without political influences and if the JAGs and Commanders did their jobs properly. Also, they target the Commanders, but leave out the problems with the JAGs.
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    Re: Senate blocks military sexual assault bill

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    Its a shame it didn't pass. Military commanders should have nothing to do with criminal prosecutions.I know from my experience in military the higher ranking the person the more integrity it was perceived that person had while the lower the rank the person had the less integrity that person had. Its kind of akin to those Middle eastern laws where a woman's word isn't worth **** or slavery days or jim crow reconstruction era laws where a black man's word wasn't ****.Basically if a lower ranking soldier accused a higher ranking soldier of wrong doing then that lower ranking better have some video evidence and maybe a couple of other soldiers to back him or her up while the opposite is true if a higher ranking soldier accused a lower ranking soldier of wrong doing.

    We wouldn't let this sort **** happen in the civilian world.If a supervisor sexually assaults an employee then that employee goes straight to the police and the police handles it.There would be no going to the store manager, general area manager or trying to have the company handle a case that could possibly tarnish its image.
    I've seen that kind of crap also. I personally think the higher the rank, the more they should be held responsible, not let off because of "years of service".

    Also, when was the last time you ever heard of or seen a Commander go against a JAG recommendation? Maybe they should be looking at what the JAGs recommended in these cases as much, or even more, than what the Commanders did.
    Only a fool measures equality by results and not opportunities.

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