Lawmakers Push For Reform To Pentagon's Sexual Assault Policies | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Lawmakers Push For Reform To Pentagon's Sexual Assault Policies

Play associated audio
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chucka_nc/5792259794/

A bipartisan group of lawmakers are pushing legislation to change how the Pentagon handles sexual assaults. They think the bill could stem the estimated 26,000 cases last year.

After reporting her sexual assault, former Marine Ariana Klay remembers feeling isolated within her unit. She accuses her commanders of retaliating against her for reporting the crime.

"It is impossible to expect justice in a legal system run primarily by commanders with no legitimate legal training who have a vested interest in the outcomes of their proceedings," Klay says.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has been rallying support to overhaul the military chain of command. Her bill is cosigned by 45 senators, but now opponents say she'll need 60 supporters to pass it. Gillibrand says serious crimes like sexual assaults should be handled by trained prosecutors.

"It has been allowed to fester in the military for far too long," Gillibrand says.

But Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) says Gillibrand's legislation is too broad because it removes from the chain of command most crimes punishable by a year or more of imprisonment.

"It's not focused on sexual assaults," Kaine says.

Kaine supports an alternative that ends the practice of allowing a commander to overturn a jury conviction.

NPR

Novel Explores A Time When A Woman Might Not Live To Meet Her Child

Katy Simpson Smith's novel, set during the American Revolution, was inspired by her research on mothers in the South. "Death was sort of the specter that haunted every aspect of life," she says.
NPR

A Food Crisis Follows Africa's Ebola Crisis

Food shortages are emerging in the wake of West Africa's Ebola epidemic. Market shelves are bare and fields are neglected because traders can't move and social gatherings are discouraged.
NPR

Obama's Reaction To Ferguson Raises Questions About President's Role

As the situation quiets down in Ferguson, Mo., some political observers are asking why it took President Obama so long to publicly weigh in on events there.
NPR

Coming Soon To A Pole Near You: A Bike That Locks Itself

Cyclists may soon have a convenient way to discourage bike thieves, thanks to new designs that use parts of the bikes themselves as locks.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.