• November 22, 2014

Lawmakers file bill to end pay for soldiers accused of violent crimes

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Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 2:13 pm, Thu Jan 23, 2014.

Outraged over the fact that Maj. Nidal Hasan continues to draw a taxpayer-funded salary from the U.S. Army, two congressmen filed a bill to end pay to soldiers accused of violent crimes.

They call the legislation the Stop Pay for Violent Offenders Act, which was filed Monday.

It would cut off any pay to soldiers charged with a violent crime and funnel what would have been their pay to a fund for crime victims.

One of the act’s co-sponsors, Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., said he felt the need to draft the legislation after learning that Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of carrying out the Nov. 5, 2009, mass shooting on post, had drawn more than $278,000 from the U.S. government since the time of the attack.

“The delays in Hasan’s trial over the past nearly four years certainly brought attention to the fact that he has received over a quarter-million dollars in taxpayer dollars after he allegedly committed the attack,” Griffin said.

Under current military justice rules, Hasan will continue to be paid until convicted by a jury. With the repeated delays to the start of his capital murder trial, the major effectively earned more than 3½ years of officer pay while incarcerated.

If the act is passed, pay rules for members of the military accused of violent crimes would be closer to those of federal employees. Those employees’ pay is typically suspended while they are accused.

“This bill brings that same basic fairness to situations where military personnel commit violent crimes,” Griffin said.

The proposed change to military justice rules would suspend the pay for soldiers accused of rape, sexual assault or capital offenses, according to a news release.

However, it does provide waivers for military defendants who are able to provide reasonable proof they may be wrongfully accused, Griffin said.

The co-sponsor of the bill is Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va. Wolf was unreachable for comment Wednesday.

Hasan hearing today

Maj. Nidal Hasan will be back in a Fort Hood courtroom today for a pretrial hearing. The presiding judge is expected to rule upon previously litigated matters and may take up new issues.

It is one of three hearings scheduled before testimony begins in Hasan’s capital murder trial on Aug. 6. If convicted, Hasan could face the death penalty.

Check online at kdhnews.com throughout the day for updates.

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3 comments:

  • 11B38 posted at 9:55 am on Fri, Jul 26, 2013.

    11B38 Posts: 7

    The 5th amendment, got it...however I have to admit in this case (cut and dry) in my opinion, I completely understand where Eliza is coming from, and it ticks me off as well Hasan is still receiving pay.

     
  • Eliza posted at 2:56 pm on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    Eliza Posts: 859

    Even though any who know the case know that Hasan is guilty of cold blooded murder. Hasan even knows it.
    The fact he has only been indicted and accused are totally different then having been convicted and found guilty.

    The fact that this trial has been delayed so long has given the accused, another way of getting over on the people other then killing members of their armed forces, by collecting wages (that he isn't earning) and also having them pay for his confinement. Along with attorneys fee's.

    This trial has been a joke and the people are expected to go along with being made to look like fools to the world, by not getting Hasans trial over with and giving him his true justly due.

     
  • Bubba posted at 8:54 am on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    Bubba Posts: 748

    This is why members of Congress who have never served a day in uniform should not be sticking their noses into military justice matters. Further, as a former U.S. Attorney, Mr. Griffin should be familiar with the following:

    "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous, crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or
    in the Militia, when in actual service, in time of War, or public danger; nor shall any person be subject, for the same offence, to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation."

    Simply, imposing punishment, which is what forfeiture of pay is under military law, prior to conviction at court-martial is Unconstitutional. Therefore, the bill proposed is Unconstitutional and also a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

    "At general courts-martial, if both a punitive discharge and confinement are adjudged, then the operation of Article 58b results in total forfeiture of pay and allowances during that period
    of confinement. If only confinement is adjudged, then if that confinement exceeds six months, the operation of Article 58b results in total forfeiture of pay and allowances during that period
    of confinement. If only a punitive discharge is adjudged, Article 58b has no effect on pay and allowances. A death sentence results in total forfeiture of pay and allowances."

    This is why members of Congress should be directing their attention to matters such as the out-of-control IRS, and stop interfering in military justice issues. Recently, some public comments by the President were adjudged by a military court to be "unlawful command influence". Recommend you whip open the UCMJ and look that up. Members of Congress are not experts on military law and should allow those duly appointed, trained and qualified to accomplish these duties to do so without further interference from the unqualified.

    Further, comparing military members to civilian employees in this instance is intellectually specious. Civilian employees are not employed under Title 10, United States Code, nor are they subject to the UCMJ. Civilian employees can suspended from their positions, without pay, for a number of reasons; military personnel cannot be suspended in this manner. Comparisons between these two classifications of personnel are without merit.

    Hopefully, Mr. Griffin will now have the sense to withdraw his illegal and unconstitutional legislation without further delay.