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

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.


Ruth Rendell Dies, Pioneered The Psychological Thriller

The British mystery writer was known for her Inspector Wexford series and in her later years became active in Labour Party politics. NPR's Petra Mayer has this remembrance.

'Bourbon Empire' Reveals The Smoke And Mirrors Of American Whiskey

A new book suggests that tall tales on craft bourbon labels are the rule rather than the exception. They're just one example of a slew of "carefully cultivated myths" created by the bourbon industry.

Site Using Candidate Carly Fiorina's Name Attacks Her Record At HP

The site,, says the Republican presidential candidate laid off 30,000 people while she ran Hewlett-Packard. Fiorina does not deny the figure but says, overall, the firm created jobs.

As Emoji Spread Beyond Texts, Many Remain [Confounded Face] [Interrobang]

There's a growing tendency to bring the tiny hieroglyphs off of phones, but not everyone is fluent. New takes on emoji integration suggest misunderstanding may be remedied with universal translation.

Leave a Comment

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