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Outline Reid v. Covert - Case Study Example

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Law By Your Name Class Name University Name Due Date Issue In Reid v. Covert [1957] 354 U.S. 1, the question of law is that whether the US Military has jurisdiction over civilians who are abroad and are dependent on US Army officials. The role of Congress to allow such jurisdiction is also brought into question as it is the Congress that can empower the Military tribunals to try civilians under military regulations and procedures for offenses against the country…
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Outline Reid v. Covert
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Download file to see previous pages Most importantly, this case pits the Constitution of the Unites States against international treaties. In this case, Mrs. Clarice Covert killed her husband, a sergeant in the United States Air Force, at an airbase in England. At that time, she was living with her husband on the base. Despite her being a civilian, she was tried by a court-martial for murder under Article 118 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Mrs. Covert’s counsel attempted to plead temporary insanity on her behalf but she was sentenced to life imprisonment. The Air Force Board of Review, 16 CMR 465, affirmed the judgment but it was reversed by the Court of Military Appeals, 6 U.S.C.M.A 48, as it had suspected some prejudicial errors concerning the defense of insanity. Mrs. Covert was being held in England as she awaited her retrial by court-martial in the District of Columbia. After a writ of habeas corpus was petitioned by her counsel, the District court held that Mrs. Covert could not be tried by court-martial and ordered to release her from custody. The case was then argued at last term and it was held that Mrs. Covert’s court-martial was constitutional. ...
They discarded the fact that the Congress had actually never provided for such trials in the Constitution. If it is not in the Constitution, it is not a rule or law. The Articles III, § 2 and the Fifth and Sixth Amendment are directly applicable to this case. Article III, § 2 lay the rule that, “The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury, and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.” This means that the trial, for a crime that is committed abroad (not within any State), must be held in such place where the Congress has directed. Since the inception of this section in the Constitution, it has always meant to be followed without any exception. The Fifth Amendment provides that, “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; . . .” The words “No person” are very important since they obliterate any exception for civilians. Although it is very clear that it excludes the soldiers and officers of the Armed forces, there is no inclusion of their dependents either. Their dependents are civilians and when the Fifth Amendments says “No Person” shall be deprived of the right to be tried in the civil court, it includes them. The Sixth Amendment declares that, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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