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Hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee - Markup of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014


Location: Washington, DC

Senator MCCASKILL. The mark already addresses the ability of a commander to overturn the findings of a jury. This would address a commander's ability to modify a sentence.

Under this amendment, a commander could modify a sentence only for cases where there is a pre-arranged plea bargain or where the defendant provides substantial assistance to the government in the investigation or prosecution of another matter.

We have heard a lot of concerns that clemency agreements are often used to provide some monetary assistance to the defendant's family and ease their burden. I agree that protecting military families is important, so my amendment would still allow for a commander to modify sentences of forfeiture of pay. So it would let the commander still modify forfeiture of pay issues to address family needs, but it would only allow them to modify sentences for plea agreements or cooperation with the government with the prosecutors on another investigation.

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