PDA

View Full Version : Senate Approves Sexual Assault Reform Bill



Stalwart
03-11-2014, 11:48 PM
The Senate approved S.1917 97-0.

Major tenants of the bill:

1) requiring victims of sexual assaults to be advised of the advantages and disadvantages of prosecuting such assaults by court-martial or in a civilian court.

2) requiring performance appraisals of military officers and enlisted personnel to include an assessment of their support for sexual assault prevention and response programs.

3) requiring a process for command climate assessment and for a confidential challenge by sexual assault victims of the terms or characterization of their discharge or separation from the Armed Forces.

4) modifying the Military Rules of Evidence to eliminate the use of good military character evidence (good soldier defense) in criminal proceedings unless it is relevant to an element of an offense for which an accused is charged.

5) making sexual assault prevention and response activities enacted by NDAA 2014 applicable to the U.S. Military Academy, the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, and the Coast Guard Academy.

6) requiring the Secretary of Defense (DOD) and the Attorney General to jointly develop a strategic framework for collaborating to prevent and respond to cases of sexual assault.

Info on the bill: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d113:s.1917:

The Hill: http://mobile.thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/200393-senate-votes-97-0-for-military-sexual-assault-bill

sandsjames
03-11-2014, 11:53 PM
The Senate approved S.1917 97-0.

Major tenants of the bill:

1) requiring victims of sexual assaults to be advised of the advantages and disadvantages of prosecuting such assaults by court-martial or in a civilian court.

2) requiring performance appraisals of military officers and enlisted personnel to include an assessment of their support for sexual assault prevention and response programs.

3) requiring a process for command climate assessment and for a confidential challenge by sexual assault victims of the terms or characterization of their discharge or separation from the Armed Forces.

4) modifying the Military Rules of Evidence to eliminate the use of good military character evidence (good soldier defense) in criminal proceedings unless it is relevant to an element of an offense for which an accused is charged.

5) making sexual assault prevention and response activities enacted by NDAA 2014 applicable to the U.S. Military Academy, the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, and the Coast Guard Academy.

6) requiring the Secretary of Defense (DOD) and the Attorney General to jointly develop a strategic framework for collaborating to prevent and respond to cases of sexual assault.

Info on the bill: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d113:s.1917:

The Hill: http://mobile.thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/200393-senate-votes-97-0-for-military-sexual-assault-bill

I bolded and underlined the most ridiculous part of this. So now support of sexual assault programs are pretty much mandatory. Isn't this something that should just stick in the same block as AADD and all that crap? Does it really need to be specific?

Stalwart
03-11-2014, 11:55 PM
AADD?

I am not sure how the individual services will interpret what you point out. It could be a consideration of how well sexual assault prevention programs are made available, meeting training requirements, innovative training etc. the bill says what has to be done, but not how to actually evaluate support for programs ... It leaves that to the DoD / services.

I am personally a big fan of eliminating the 'good soldier' defense.

sandsjames
03-12-2014, 12:21 AM
AADD?

I am not sure how the individual services will interpret what you point out. It could be a consideration of how well sexual assault prevention programs are made available, meeting training requirements, innovative training etc. the bill says what has to be done, but not how to actually evaluate support for programs ... It leaves that to the DoD / services.

I am personally a big fan of eliminating the 'good soldier' defense.

I don't like that defense either. Still not sure how one can be assessed on support of sexual assault programs.

raider8169
03-12-2014, 09:27 PM
AADD?

I am not sure how the individual services will interpret what you point out. It could be a consideration of how well sexual assault prevention programs are made available, meeting training requirements, innovative training etc. the bill says what has to be done, but not how to actually evaluate support for programs ... It leaves that to the DoD / services.

I am personally a big fan of eliminating the 'good soldier' defense.

What is the "good soldier" defense? It sounds to me like I can go to bat for another military member and say that they are an upstanding solider and that actually means something in court.

efmbman
03-12-2014, 10:11 PM
What is the "good soldier" defense? It sounds to me like I can go to bat for another military member and say that they are an upstanding solider and that actually means something in court.

The premise is that very senior personnel (E9, O6+) are "good soldiers" simply because they would not have achieved such a rank if they were not "good" already. The theory is that this clause will put those very senior troops on the same level as very junior troops when it comes to sexual crimes.

Stalwart
03-13-2014, 10:07 AM
What is the "good soldier" defense?

In sum: doesn't matter if you have been a hero or really good at your job (a model soldier), that cannot be used to negate the possibility you committed a crime -- in the case of S.1917 specifically sexual crimes. The Navy Times page had a lot of comments from people saying no career minded Senior CPO or officer would risk their career over something like a sexual assault (highly inaccurate.)

A really good paper on the 'good soldier defense' was published by the Yale law Review (Elizabeth Lutes Hillman, The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 108, No. 4 (Jan., 1999), pp. 879-911) that was circulated when I was on the Hill. It is a good read on the topic and how rank, decorations etc. present a sense of character in a criminal trial that may not be at all related to the alleged crime(s) on trial.

imported_WILDJOKER5
03-13-2014, 11:13 AM
In sum: doesn't matter if you have been a hero or really good at your job (a model soldier), that cannot be used to negate the possibility you committed a crime -- in the case of S.1917 specifically sexual crimes. The Navy Times page had a lot of comments from people saying no career minded Senior COP or officer would risk their career over something like a sexual assault (highly inaccurate.)

A really good paper on the 'good soldier defense' was published by the Yale law Review (Elizabeth Lutes Hillman, The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 108, No. 4 (Jan., 1999), pp. 879-911) that was circulated when I was on the Hill. It is a good read on the topic and how rank, decorations etc. present a sense of character in a criminal trial that may not be at all related to the alleged crime(s) on trial.

Yeah, cause no general or even a POTUS would ever commit a crime like sexual assault. lol