01 June 2009

Fairness of American military justice system questioned in the case of a Marine who has autism

Today the San Diego Union-Tribune report's here that the U.S. Marine Corps is now investigating how a man with autism who is facing a court-martial was originally allowed into the Marine Corps. After graduating boot camp and during infantry training the man was charged with an unauthorized absence and possession of child pornography. The defense raised a motion to challenge the court-martial's jurisdiction on the grounds that the court-martial lacked jurisdiction due to the accused lacking mental competency to sign his enlistment contract. Two years prior to the man's enlistement, in 2006 a California judge had issued an order in a limited conservatorship proceeding that the man was "developmentally disabled" and not able to provide for his personal needs. But the motion to dismiss was denied and the man remains confined at the Marine Corps brig at Camp Pendleton.

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