http://www.stripes.com/judge-obama-s...uence-1.225974Judge: Obama sex assault comments 'unlawful command influence'
By Erik Slavin Stars and Stripes
Published: June 14, 2013
Two defendants in military sexual assault cases cannot be punitively discharged, if found guilty, because of “unlawful command influence” derived from comments made by President Barack Obama, a judge ruled in a Hawaii military court this week.
Navy Judge Cmdr. Marcus Fulton ruled during pretrial hearings in two sexual assault cases — U.S. vs. Johnson and U.S. vs. Fuentes — that comments made by Obama as commander in chief would unduly influence any potential sentencing, according to a court documents obtained by Stars and Stripes.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Fulton approved the pretrial defense motions, which used as evidence comments that Obama made about sexual assault at a May 7 news conference.
“The bottom line is: I have no tolerance for this,” Obama said, according to an NBC News story submitted as evidence by defense attorneys in the sexual assault cases.
‘I expect consequences,” Obama added. “So I don’t just want more speeches or awareness programs or training, but ultimately folks look the other way. If we find out somebody’s engaging in this, they’ve got to be held accountable — prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.”
The judge’s pretrial ruling means that if either defendant is found guilty, whether by a jury or a military judge, they cannot receive a bad conduct discharge or a dishonorable discharge. Sailors found guilty under the Uniform Code of Military Justice’s Article 120, which covers several sexual crimes including assault and rape, generally receive punitive discharges.
“A member of the public would not hear the President’s statement to be a simple admonition to hold members accountable,” Fulton stated. “A member of the public would draw the connection between the ‘dishonorable discharge’ required by the President and a punitive discharge approved by the convening authority.
LOL, so even if you're found guilty, you're not really going to face the punishment you deserve?
Commanders and the president want to "get tough" on sexual assault, but apparently didn't think through the ful legal ramifications of their statements.
Last edited by Banned; 06-14-2013 at 05:52 PM.
You'd think as a former lawyer and former President of the Harvard Law Review (along with having White House legal counsel) he would have known better...
"Never force a fart in Djibouti"..."Always marry your second wife first"..."If anyone says that you're not a team player, maybe they're on the wrong team"..."You can gold plate a turd and it's still a turd"
Rarely have I agreed with President Obama...but he is correct is saying those who are guilty should be "...held accountable — prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.”
Now to find a way around all the legal BS and do the right thing and get rid of those who commit this type of crime? I don't know the answer.
I do know a guy who will make a eunuch from those who are guilty for $50.
When the President lays out the way punishment has to go, there is no leeway in court. Courtsmartial have always been pretty harsh when it comes to punishment for sexual charges, but the POTUS giving only one course of punishment, though multipronged, strips the courtsmartial of handing out their own judicial sentences.
Unless the courts decides on being heavy handed in all cases, kind of like the 3 strikes deal in the outside world, but used for any and all sex crimes under Article 120, the giving down of the law that Obama stated goes beyond the Potus's power to decide.
Hey, if someone is found guilty of rape, I think that the death penalty should be used. I am not saying that rapists should be shielded. What I am saying is that the military should never have to obey something that is or was or will be said by the POTUS, when it comes courtsmartial. Just because the Potus says something, those or that statement should be used to show his/her feelings about their disgust over the issue of rape, not setting a course that the military has to follow.
Full Metal Jacket blanket parties and Few Good Men "code reds" are highly appropriate responses, I'm thinking.
"Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers."
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