Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Is this really a case for military jurisdiction?

The Southeast Sun reports:
[T]he state [of Alabama] has dismissed all charges against [LTC] Wood per the request of prosecutors for the United States Army. A jury of fellow Army servicemen will now try Wood against the Uniform Code of Military Justice
“He was charged with 19 violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including two charges that are identical to our present case,” Adams said. “They (the Army) asked us to dismiss our case to clear the way for their prosecution. 
If convicted, Wood faces a minimum of 15 years in prison at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. (editor note:  this is not correct.  Under the UCMJ there are no mandatory minimum sentences to confinement--except for certain homicides.)
Adams said the Army was very proactive in wanting to take over the case.  “We let them have it,” said Adams. “They are not usually overly aggressive, but they worked hard to get their ducks in a row. Because he is such a high-ranking member of the Army, they want the opportunity to prosecute.”
Wood was arrested July 3, 2014 in an undercover operation conducted by the Daleville Police Department. Wood was reportedly exchanging sex-related text messages with whom he believed was a 15-year-old girl.
It appears that the civilian trial was scheduled for 8 June 2015.

Wood is an active duty Soldier who was on leave away from his post, this appears to be the sole military connection.  The civilian courts are open, and it appears quite ready to prosecute.  

One suspects the real or prime military connection is that the Army wants to prosecute and show Congress how they are capable of dealing with these types of crimes.  By making that showing the Army, like the other Services, can argue against Congressional efforts to remove the military convening authority from prosecution decisions.

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