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Friday, January 09, 2015

CIVILIAN COURT-MARTIAL DEFENSE LAWYERS: A New Year but the Same Old Rhetoric – “The Military Justice System is Broken and Needs to be Fixed!” Military Rape and Sexual Assault Court-Martial Cases (UCMJ Article 120)

Military Criminal Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News: 

It is a new year, but the same old drum beat of rhetoric continues among misinformed and misguided members of Congress, the Executive, DoD, advocacy groups and press stories when addressing allegations of rape and sexual assault in the military justice system:  “The military justice system is broken and needs to be fixed!” 

The rules regarding pretrial Article 32 hearings have now been significantly changed.  The 2015 NDAA seeks more changes on top of those from the 2014 NDAA.  Procedural protections are being stripped at an alarming rate from military members accused of rape or sexual assault.  Opportunities for investigation and discovery into the veracity of allegations and credibility of complainants have been dramatically reduced.  Members of Congress are squabbling over whose ideas for changing the military justice system will be more effective…all attempting to ensure predetermined outcomes in military courts-martial – that the accused will be convicted, sentenced harshly, and receive no post-trial relief.  It’s hard to believe this is America.  It’s hard to believe a movement based on the presumption of guilt can so brazenly press forward in our government. 

Any American criminal justice system in which the rules are changed to reduce and limit investigation and discovery regarding complaining witnesses because the previous allowable investigation and discovery hurt the successful prosecution of cases is not a “justice” system at all, nor is it a system that values the rights expressed in, and arising from, the United States Constitution.  Any prosecutor or law maker who supports there being fewer procedural and discovery protections for a criminal accused is someone who has forgotten or ignored that the government’s responsibility in a criminal case is not simply to successfully convict the accused, but to ensure justice and fairness in the process. 

Not only are agenda-driven lawmakers taking aim at the military, they are taking aim at college campuses.  There is no balance in the public narrative, but there are those in the minority who are attempting to point out the erroneous presumptions fueling the lynch mob.  Here are some of them:

“The College Rape Overcorrection” by Emily Yoffe at

“10 Reasons False Rape Accusations are Common” by Jonathan Taylor at A Voice for Male Students:

“Start by Believing – the Accused” by Col Dan Higgins and Maj Shad Kidd at (Air Force) The Reporter, Volume 41, Issue #2, Page 16:

“Crying Rape” (False Allegations) by Cathy Young at

“Thinking Slow About Sexual Assault in the Military” by Air Force Maj Matthew Burris:

“The Pentagon’s Bad Math on Sexual Assault” by USMC Capt Lindsay Rodman (military rape/sexual assault statistics):

Attorney Edward Greer (the 2% false rape allegation myth):

Philip Rumney, of Sheffield Hallam University.  His article appears in the Cambridge Law Journal here (the 2% false rape allegation myth):

Professor Anne Hendershott, who teaches sociology and is the Director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.  Her article appears in the Washington Times, here:

Roxanne Jones, who is a founding editor of “ESPN The Magazine” and a former Vice President at ESPN. She is a national lecturer on sports, entertainment and women's topics and a recipient of the 2010 Woman of the Year award from Women in Sports and Events.  Her insightful CNN editorial about false rape allegations generally can be found here:

No one knows how this crusade to “fix” the military justice system will end, but the goal of the crusaders certainly is not justice, nor is it fairness, nor is it supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States.  The goal of the crusaders is prosecution victory.  Period.  That is a very dangerous perspective, and it is one often espoused by enemies of the United States in totalitarian regimes.    

For more information about the military justice system, particularly cases alleging rape and/or sexual assault in violation of UCMJ Article 120, type “rape” or “sexual assault” into the search bar above the blog posts.  Also, see:

We offer free consultations for a case you may be involved in.  Just call us.

Thank you.    

By: Attorney Richard V. Stevens
Civilian criminal defense lawyer and military defense lawyer
Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.

Blog postscript: Attorney Frank J. Spinner and I (attorney Richard V. Stevens) are former active duty military lawyers (JAG). Our perspectives and advice, therefore, are based upon our experience as military defense lawyers and as civilian criminal defense lawyers practicing exclusively in the area of military law and military justice. This blog addresses issues in military law, military justice, military discipline, military defense, court-martial practice, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and other military and/or legal topics. Nothing posted in this blog should be substituted for legal advice in any particular case. If you seek legal advice for a particular case, please contact The Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens and The Law Office of Frank J. Spinner for a free consultation. These military defense law offices are located in Northern Florida (Pensacola, Ft Walton, Destin, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field, Duke Field, Panama City, Tyndall AFB areas) and Colorado Springs, Colorado (FT Carson, Peterson AFB, Air Force Academy, Schriever AFB, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Buckley AFB areas), but our military defense law practices are worldwide – we travel to wherever our clients are stationed or serving and need us.

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