NO MORE BREAD AND WATER PUNISHMENT. Come 2019, junior sailors will have one less worry chasing them: no more bread and water punishments.
Beginning one January, skippers can no longer sentence NJP enlisted shipmates to three days in the ship’s brig solely on bread and water.
Bread and water had for decades been an arcane disciplinary tool at the disposal of commanding officers at sea. The non-judicial punishment potentially affected E-1 to E-3 sailors and embarked Marines.
NEW UCMJ PROVISIONS. The Military Justice Act of 2016 makes some substantive changes to the UCMJ, including updating the ways the armed forces can prosecute sexual crimes, cyber-stalking, public corruption, credit card theft, and cruelty to animals.
IMPROPER COMMAND INFLUENCE? President Trump has tweeted that he will review the ongoing case of an Army Green Beret charged with the premeditated murder of a Taliban bomb-maker in Afghanistan.
The tweet – referring to Major Mathew Golsteyn as a “U.S. Military hero” – may run afoul of the military’s prohibition on unlawful command influence.
Golsteyn and fellow elite soldiers captured the alleged bomb-maker while deployed in Afghanistan in 2010. According to the New York Times, they took the man back to their operating base; fearing he would identify a Taliban informant, they took him off base, shot him, and buried the body.
A year later, Golsteyn admitted the killing while applying to the CIA. The Army investigated, eventually stripping his combat award and Special Forces tab, and reprimanded him, the Times reported.
The Army opened a new investigation and charged Golsteyn with murder.
4 PETTY OFFICERS ACCUSED OF BARRACKS SEX CRIMES WITH A CHILD.
Four petty officers accused of sex crimes with a child in the barracks of a Washington state base have received non-judicial punishment and are being kicked out of the Navy, officials confirmed this week.
The four avoided court-martial because an officer reviewing the case found insufficient evidence to take the charges to trial. According to a command spokesman, “there was insufficient evidence that they were aware the victim was underage.”
LAWYER’S CORNER. In a recent blog, we posed the question of what would happen if explorers found a small group of living Neanderthals. Now, one of them has allegedly murdered another. What should happen?
Here is one attorney’s response:
Under U.S. law the intellectually disabled are not eligible for the death penalty. Except for Florida and Texas, he would probably be found ineligible for the death penalty. In most of the rest of the world, it would not be an issue.
With regard to the underlying conviction, who had the jurisdiction to try him? Who could testify? If he could not communicate with his attorney, how could he have effective assistance of counsel? How could he assist in his own defense?
And another response:
Who sits on the jury? Isn’t the Neanderthal man entitled to a jury of his peers?
Also, what is our historical record many years ago, dealing with crimes committed by indigenous Americans? What about individuals in decidedly different cultures – e.g., acquired territories such as American Samoa?