McClatchy (11/28, Doyle) reports on “a legal debate that’s consuming the Pentagon, as well as the nation’s top military appeals court.” That is whether soldiers who attempt suicide should be prosecuted under the “military law that makes ‘self-injury’ a potential criminal offense.” Senior Judge Walter T. Cox III “and the four other members of the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces sounded deeply ambivalent about the complexities involved in prosecuting members of the military who try to kill themselves,” though they “also sounded hesitant about ruling out prosecution altogether.”
Military Court Hears Appeal Of Private Convicted Of Self-Injury. The Military Times (11/28, Tilghman) reports, “The military’s highest court Tuesday hammered attorneys on both sides of a controversial case involving vexing questions about whether commanders should have authority to court-martial troops who try to commit suicide.” The case involved Marine Pvt. Lazzaric Caldwell, who “was convicted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice’s Article 134, known as the General Article, because the judge found his self-injury was prejudicial to good order and discipline and brought discredit upon the service.” The Court of Appeals for the Armed Services is now hearing oral arguments on the case.
— “In suicide epidemic, military wrestles with prosecuting troops who attempt it,”Michael Doyle, McClatchy Newspapers, November 27, 2012.