|By PR Newswire||
|April 8, 2014 01:43 PM EDT||
KILLEEN, Texas, April 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Last month, two high profile military sexual assault cases against an Army General and a former Naval Academy football player were concluded. Neither case resulted in a conviction. The cases sparked a stream of controversy and have created a boisterous divide among many advocates and lawmakers. For some, the lack of convictions served as proof of the need for reform in the military justice system. For others, the decisions were supported, as some believe the cases should never have gone to trial. Despite the divide, many understand the military's problem with sexual assaults – and how politics can play a role in such cases.
In one difficult case, involving Navy Midshipman Joshua Tate's acquittal for the alleged rape of an intoxicated woman at a party, prosecutors initially charged two other football players, but later dropped the charges. According to Attorney Jordan L. Joseph – a national military criminal defense lawyer – in the Tate decision, "the alleged victim's lawyer assumed that the accused was in fact guilty, when a court of law found him innocent. When service members are accused of sexual assault, the presumption on the part of Government and alleged victim's counsel is that the accused is actually guilty."
Jordan notes that this mentality is not aligned with the way the criminal justice and military criminal justice systems are intended to work. "The accused is presumed innocent until found guilty," says Jordan, "and when the accused is found not guilty, then it is improper to continue to call them a perpetrator. It is improper to state that the alleged victim is "twice traumatized" because that attorney is contradicting not only the presumption of innocence but the very judgment of a court of law." Ultimately, the judge stated that prosecutors couldn't prove Tate's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Just as Attorney Jordan notes the tendency for the presumption of guilt, many are voicing opinions that the military loses credibility when it goes forward with cases like Tate's. These cases demonstrate an atmosphere of "increasing cynicism and mistrust," according to one retired Navy lawyer. As such, it proves that any service member accused of a criminal offense could benefit greatly from a defense attorney who understands not only the laws and procedures in place, but how to deal with a harsh and unforgiving military court culture. Joseph L. Jordan offers just that for the many service men and women he represents.
Attorney Joseph L. Jordan is the founding lawyer at Joseph L. Jordan, UCMJ Law – a military criminal defense law firm that represents service members throughout the nation. A former soldier and Army prosecutor, Attorney Jordan has years of experience representing service members from all branches against a variety of crimes, including cases involving sexual assault and court martial. More information about Jordan and the case he handles can be found on the firm's website: www.jordanucmjlaw.com.
SOURCE Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney At Law