A bill that would have established an independent justice system to prosecute military rape crimes failed to pass the U.S. Senate.
Dallas, TX -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/01/2015 --Sexual assault in the military is a serious problem. Not only is sexual assault in the military occurring at record levels, but many victims of military sexual assault have fears about reporting it. In fact, one study states that 62 percent of sexual assault victims who have reported the assault faced social or professional retaliation as a result. As such, there are many who argue that reform is necessary, and could help to protect victims.
However, despite the fact that some sort of reform is critical to reducing sexual assault, a bill that would have established an independent justice system to prosecute military rape crimes failed to pass the U.S. senate on Tuesday, June 16, 2015.
Bill Fails to Pass by 11 Votes
The bill, titled the, "Military Justice Improvement Act," sponsored by New York Senator and democrat Kristen Gillbrand, needed 60 votes in order to make it through the Senate. However, for the second time, the legislation failed to pass, garnering only 49 votes—11 short of the necessary amount. As such, the bill will not move on and will not be signed into law.
Military Authorities Opposed to Legislation
Military authorizes have spoken out against the proposed changes, as has President Barack Obama, believing that prosecution for the crimes should remain within the military. Gillbrand, on the other hand, told reporters that, "No one should have to suffer the chain of command when they report these crimes," and that the American military, if the reforms were made, "will have fewer dangerous criminals and far more heroes," adding that, "the brave men and women we send to war to keep us safe deserve nothing less than a justice system equal to their sacrifice."
Currently soldiers charged with sexual crimes in the military are subject to prosecution internally, within the military justice system. Military specific punishments are enforced without outside judicial interruption, although civilian military defense lawyers are allowed to represent active duty military members in court martials: http://www.patrickjmclain.com/practice-areas/military-criminal-defense.
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The Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC is a Texas-based law office with more than 25 years of criminal defense experience. We specialize in federal crimes, state crimes, white-collar crimes, fraud, computer crimes, sex crimes, drug crimes, property crimes, DWI, and military criminal defense. We pride ourselves in providing criminal defenses services that our clients can count on.