Thursday, January 22, 2009

Military Justice

I saw this article in the news today. The headline reads "Marine Jailed for Sex with Widow".

It's a short, very sad story. Recruiter gets a kids fresh out of high school in the Marines, kid goes to Iraq. Kid dies. Recruiter sleeps with the kid's wife. Pretty screwed up right?

If you get technical about it, the kid was already dead. And there was no adultery. In a civil court, (if adultery were to be a crime, which I don't think it is) the case would have been thrown out.

Not in the military. There's a widely practiced thing called "making an example out of you". I looked up Article 134 of the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) and the definition of Adultery is vague enough to include the behavior of our Casanova recruiter.

Conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline or of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces. To constitute an offense under the UCMJ, the adulterous conduct must either be directly prejudicial to good order and discipline or service discrediting.

So that's what happens if you mess around. The story doesn't say how this came about, did the widow complain afterwards? I wonder how does she feel right now? Was the Marine Corps too harsh on the recruiter? Should the widow share some of the blame? Does all of this even matter since the kid is not even alive anymore?

So Sad. Damn.


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