Yesterday, we talked about the Steubenville rape trial as an example of the failure of law enforcement and the legal system to adequately address crimes involving sexual assault. Recently, we talked about the much needed change female Senators like Elizabeth Warren and Claire McCaskill are bringing to Congress. Today, we talk about both.
This week, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing with military leaders on the issue of military sexual assault. In particular, they talked about the case of Kimberly Hanks vs. Lt. Col. James Wilkerson. Wilkerson was found guilty by a military jury of aggravated sexual of Hanks while they were both stationed in Italy last year. He was stripped of his rank and sentenced to a year in the brig.
But two weeks ago, Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, who did not attend the trial (he’s stationed in Germany) and has no law enforcement experience, overturned the jury’s conviction, restored Wilkerson’s rank, and had him released from the brig. Why? The military allows officers with “convening authority” to overturn decisions made by military courts, no questions asked.
In this video, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand does what Senators are supposed to go – she speaks for Americans, as our representative. And she does a pretty phenomenal job of it.