Sunday, May 29, 2016


What to do when a charged soldier is cleared? That question has arisen in Australia, as witness this report. Should a formal exoneration be issued? What if there is sufficient evidence to proceed but the case is dropped for prudential reasons? What if there is probable cause but an acquittal (for which there may be no reliable explanation)? What if a charge is dismissed at the close of the government's case? What if the case goes away because the putative victim refuses to testify?

In U.S. law, there is such a thing as a Certificate of Innocence. In at least one case that comes to mind,  a general issued a letter informing one of his Marines that in the general's eyes the Marine was innocent.

How does this all play out if the military can administratively separate a member when criminal prosecution fizzles? 

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