Friday, June 14, 2019

Do old cases make bad law?

It is 2019. At a cocktail party back in 1994, a general officer puts his hands on the breasts of the wife of another officer, junior to him. The general retires with 4 stars. He is now 83 years old. The complainant comes forward in 2018.

The UCMJ statute of limitations has long since expired and it is too late to adjust the general's retired grade.

If you were Secretary of the Army or Chief of Staff, what would you do? What do you think happened, and do you think it was fair? Should the rank of the accused make a difference? Can a retiree be reprimanded? What procedural protections should be afforded to the parties? [Source: USA Today, June 14, 2019, p. 3A.]

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