VIDEO: Achieving Justice for Survivors of Sexual Assault in the Military

Senator Claire McCaskill
2013-05-30 11:45:30
    Dear Unity, More than thirty years ago, I spent a significant amount of time in a Kansas City courtroom prosecuting sexual assault cases-at a point in time when far less attention was paid to providing justice for survivors. I had no idea that so many years later we'd be dealing with many of the same issues in our nation's military. Last week, I joined with several of my colleagues in a bipartisan, bicameral manner to announce new legislation we are sponsoring to combat sexual assault in our nation's armed forces. We put partisan politics aside to address this critical issue. Our legislation, introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, sends a message to our military leadership that we're unified on this very important issue. The crucial reforms we propose will protect and support victims, ensure swift and fair prosecution of those committing these terrible crimes, and prevent commanders from overturning a jury verdict. The bill I introduced along with my colleagues Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and my fellow Missouri Senator Roy Blunt-as well as U.S. Representatives Mike Turner (R-Ohio) and Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.)-contains reforms to better address sexual assault prosecutions and aid survivors including provisions that: Remove a commander's ability to overturn the findings of a court-martial in most cases Require a commander to provide written justification for any modifications made to a sentence, and require that they receive input from survivors before making any decision on clemency proceedings Require that a person found guilty of an offense of rape, sexual assault, forcible sodomy, or an attempt to commit any of those offenses receive a punishment that includes, at a minimum, a dismissal or dishonorable discharge Eliminate the five-year statute of limitations on Trial by Courts-Martial for sexual assault and sexual assault of a child. This issue has garnered widespread support in Congress, and multiple important proposals. As we move forward, we'll look at all the ideas put forth, and put together the strongest reforms that garner the support of Congress and our military leaders. Over the past several months, I've focused on bringing perpetrators to justice, and ridding our honorable military of these criminals. I'll continue fighting until survivors get the justice they deserve. All the best, P.S. Connect with me via email, and on Facebook and Twitter.       Regional Offices & Contact Information     Washington, DC Office Hart Senate Office Building, Ste. 506 Washington, D.C. 20510 P: 202-224-6154 F: 202-228-6326 Cape Girardeau 555 Independence St., Room 1600 Cape Girardeau, MO 63703 P: 573-651-0964 F: 573-334-4278 Columbia 915 E. Ash St. Columbia, MO 65201 P: 573-442-7130 F: 573-442-7140         Kansas City 4141 Pennsylvania Ave., Ste. 101 Kansas City, MO 64111 P: 816-421-1639 F: 816-421-2562 Springfield 324 Park Central West, Ste. 101 Springfield, MO 65806 P: 417-868-8745 F: 417-831-1349 St. Louis 5850 Delmar Blvd, Ste. A St. Louis, MO 63112 P: 314-367-1364 F: 314-361-8649       I'm on Twitter, a networking tool that helps me keep in touch with Missourians -- read more about Twitter here. Keep up to date on how I'm working for you in Washington by following me @mccaskilloffice. Reach me on Facebook at Facebook.com/SenatorMcCaskill. To unsubscribe from Claire's Newsletter, please visit the unsubscribe page here: mccaskill.senate.gov/
Claire McCaskill | Missouri's Senator
   

Dear Unity,

More than thirty years ago, I spent a significant amount of time in a Kansas City courtroom prosecuting sexual assault cases-at a point in time when far less attention was paid to providing justice for survivors. I had no idea that so many years later we'd be dealing with many of the same issues in our nation's military.

Last week, I joined with several of my colleagues in a bipartisan, bicameral manner to announce new legislation we are sponsoring to combat sexual assault in our nation's armed forces. We put partisan politics aside to address this critical issue. Our legislation, introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, sends a message to our military leadership that we're unified on this very important issue.

The crucial reforms we propose will protect and support victims, ensure swift and fair prosecution of those committing these terrible crimes, and prevent commanders from overturning a jury verdict.

The bill I introduced along with my colleagues Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and my fellow Missouri Senator Roy Blunt-as well as U.S. Representatives Mike Turner (R-Ohio) and Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.)-contains reforms to better address sexual assault prosecutions and aid survivors including provisions that:
  • Remove a commander's ability to overturn the findings of a court-martial in most cases
  • Require a commander to provide written justification for any modifications made to a sentence, and require that they receive input from survivors before making any decision on clemency proceedings
  • Require that a person found guilty of an offense of rape, sexual assault, forcible sodomy, or an attempt to commit any of those offenses receive a punishment that includes, at a minimum, a dismissal or dishonorable discharge
  • Eliminate the five-year statute of limitations on Trial by Courts-Martial for sexual assault and sexual assault of a child.
This issue has garnered widespread support in Congress, and multiple important proposals. As we move forward, we'll look at all the ideas put forth, and put together the strongest reforms that garner the support of Congress and our military leaders.

Over the past several months, I've focused on bringing perpetrators to justice, and ridding our honorable military of these criminals. I'll continue fighting until survivors get the justice they deserve.

All the best,


P.S. Connect with me via email, and on Facebook and Twitter.

   
 

Regional Offices & Contact Information

   

Washington, DC Office
Hart Senate Office Building, Ste. 506
Washington, D.C. 20510
P: 202-224-6154
F: 202-228-6326

Cape Girardeau
555 Independence St., Room 1600
Cape Girardeau, MO 63703
P: 573-651-0964
F: 573-334-4278

Columbia
915 E. Ash St.
Columbia, MO 65201
P: 573-442-7130
F: 573-442-7140

   
   

Kansas City
4141 Pennsylvania Ave., Ste. 101
Kansas City, MO 64111
P: 816-421-1639
F: 816-421-2562

Springfield
324 Park Central West, Ste. 101
Springfield, MO 65806
P: 417-868-8745
F: 417-831-1349

St. Louis
5850 Delmar Blvd, Ste. A
St. Louis, MO 63112
P: 314-367-1364
F: 314-361-8649

   
 

I'm on Twitter,"a networking tool that helps me keep in touch with Missourians -- read"more about Twitter here. Keep up to date on how I'm working for you in Washington by following me @mccaskilloffice.

" Reach me on Facebook at http://Facebook.com/SenatorMcCaskill.

" To unsubscribe from Claire's Newsletter, please visit the unsubscribe page here: