Senators Cruz, Gillibrand, Grassley Offer Bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act as Amendment to Defense Bill (July 2, 2020)

Pass MJIA 2.png

Find contact information and how your Senators voted here.

Contact the SASC & HASC Members here.

Gillibrand: The Military Justice Improvement Act Would Give Service Members a Justice System That Works (July 1, 2019)

“U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and I recently announced that we will offer the bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act as an amendment to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. The Military Justice Improvement Act would professionalize how the military prosecutes serious crimes by moving the decision over whether to prosecute them to independent, trained, professional military prosecutors.

Despite years of Congressional reforms, thousands of service members are raped and sexually assaulted every year. In many of those cases, the assailant is someone in the survivor’s own chain of command. Only a small fraction of the perpetrators are ever held accountable for their violent crimes. Last year, the Department of Defense announced a record number of sexual assaults reported by or against service members, and yet, less than 10 percent of cases considered for command action ever proceeded to trial. Worse yet, despite repeated efforts to stamp out the scourge of retaliation against military sexual assault survivors, the most recent Pentagon survey found that 64 percent of survivors say they have experienced some form of retaliation for reporting the crime. That figure is statistically unchanged from 2016.”

Read more here.

SASC: Senate Armed Services Committee
HASC: House Armed Services Committee

Related Links:
Chair Jackie Speier NDAA Provisions Address Military Sexual Assault, Intimate Partner Violence, Racial Justice, Ethics, Military Families, and DoD Oversight and Modernization (July 2, 2020)
Sens. Cruz, Gillibrand, Grassley Offer Bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act as Amendment to Defense Bill (July 2, 2020)
S. 1789: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2019 Reintroduced by Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York (June 13, 2019)
Senate Armed Services Committee Members & House Armed Services Committee Members (June 21, 2019)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine
Washington D.C. Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (December 12, 2017)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)
August: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report from September 11, 2001 to Present (August 31, 2017)
September: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report from September 11, 2001 to Present (September 30, 2017)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Afghanistan)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)

Crimelines True Crime Podcast Featured the Death of Navy CPO John Keith Bemis: Was It Suicide or Murder? (December 22, 2019)

TWITTER: Tony Bemis @Bemis_Tony
FACEBOOK: Death of Navy CPO John Keith Bemis
JUSTICE: Reasons why the Bemis family want death investigation reopened
PETITION: Reopen death investigation of Chief Petty Officer John Keith Bemis
SENATORS: Contact your two Senators here (top left has drop down for state)
REPRESENTATIVE: Contact your Representative here (enter zip code)
SASC/HASC MEMBERS: Click here to contact the SASC/HASC members
OTHER CASES: 15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine

“In August of 2012, Tony and Sue Bemis received the news no parent wants to hear. Their son, Chief Petty Officer John Keith Bemis had died by suicide. As they struggled to make sense of their loss, things didn’t add up. Seven years later, they still have questions about what exactly did happen to their son.” –CPO John Keith Bemis, Crimelines True Crime Podcast (December 22, 2019)

Related Links:
Crimelines True Crime Podcast (website)
Crimelines True Crime Podcast (Facebook)
Crimelines True Crime Podcast (Twitter)
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Stitcher
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | PlayerFM
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Luminary
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Radio Public
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | PodBean
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Podchaser
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Spotify
Navy CPO John Keith Bemis Found Dead in California Residence; Death Ruled Suicide But Totality of Evidence Suggests Homicide (August 7, 2012)
Five Intriguing True Crime Podcasts Spotlighting Active Duty Military Suicide, Missing, and Murder Cases

Seven Intriguing True Crime Podcasts Spotlighting Active Duty Military Suicide, Missing, and Murder Cases

Crime Junkie Podcast:

Crime Junkie Podcast Featured the Suspicious Deaths of LaVena Johnson & Tina Priest in ‘Conspiracy: Women in the US Military’ (October 22, 2018)

Crimelines True Crime Podcast:

Crimelines True Crime Podcast w/ Death’s Door Podcast Featured the Last Military Execution of Army Private John Bennett in 1961 (April 22, 2018)

Crimelines True Crime Podcast Featured the Military Murder of Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Baghdad, Iraq (October 20, 2019)

Crimelines True Crime Podcast Featured the Death of Navy CPO John Keith Bemis: Was It Suicide or Murder? (December 22, 2019)

Death’s Door Podcast:

Death’s Door Podcast Featured the Case of Military Death Row Inmate Army MSG Timothy Hennis (September 14, 2017)

Military Murder True Crime Podcast:

Military Murder Podcast Premiered First Three Episodes on Veteran’s Day: Stephen Schap, Russell Williams, and Timothy Hennis (November 11, 2019)

Murderific True Crime Podcast:

Murderific True Crime Podcast Featured the Military Murder of Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Baghdad, Iraq (December 8, 2019)

The Generation Why Podcast:

The Generation Why Podcast Featured the Suspicious Death of Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Balad, Iraq: Was It Suicide or Murder? (November 19, 2017)

The Generation Why Podcast Featured the Mysterious Death of Air Force Colonel Philip Shue: Accident, Suicide or Murder? (November 4, 2018)

The Vanished Podcast:

The Vanished Podcast Featured the Mysterious Missing Persons Case of Army Pvt. Dakota Lee Stump at Fort Hood in Texas (December 15, 2017)

Marine Corps LCpl Riley Schultz Found Dead at Camp Pendleton Entry Control Point; Death Ruled Suicide by Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound But Family Disputes Findings (March 15, 2019)

U.S. Marine Riley Schultz

Lance Corporal Riley Schultz, U.S. Marine Corps

In the early morning hours of March 15, 2019, Marine Corps Lance Corporal Riley Schultz was found dead near a guard shack with a gunshot wound in his head. Nineteen-year-old Lance Corporal Schultz was on guard duty at Camp Pendleton in California when this tragic incident occurred. Riley was discovered by a Marine who was assigned to replace him at this entry control point. The Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) were assigned to investigate Riley’s suspicious death but their investigation appeared to conclude when the medical examiner ruled that Lance Corporal Riley Schultz died by suicide via a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Riley’s family isn’t going to simply accept the outcome of the investigation. His family knows him better than anyone and his brother said Riley was the happiest he had ever been. Riley’s mom told the press that becoming a Marine was his dream and he worked hard and prepared for his enlistment before joining the USMC at the age of 17. Riley’s mom said he loved being a Marine and things were going well in his personal life when he died. Although this investigation appears to be an open and closed case with the Marine Corps, Riley’s family disputes the cause of death and plans to continue to fight for justice for Riley.

In the News:

The Marine from Colorado found dead at a Southern California base earlier this month died by suicide, according to 1st Lt. Cameron Edinburgh, a Marine Corps spokesperson. Rob Low reports. -FOX31 Denver (March 27, 2019)

The Navy is investigating after a Marine from Colorado was shot to death while on guard duty at Southern California’s Camp Pendleton. -CBS Denver (March 27, 2019)

Lance Cpl. Riley Schultz was discovered dead around 4 a.m. March 15 with a gunshot wound to the head. -Denver7 – The Denver Channel (March 27, 2019)

Related Links:
Lance Cpl. Riley Schultz From Longmont Killed While On Duty At Camp Pendleton
Marine Found Dead at Camp Pendleton Guard Post from Gunshot Wound to Head
Riley Schultz, Marine, shot dead while on guard duty at Camp Pendleton
Marine shot, killed while on guard duty at California base
Marine Shot, Killed While on Guard Duty at California Base
Colorado Marine shot, killed while on guard duty at California base
Marine from Colorado shot, killed while on guard duty at California base
Marine’s shooting death at Camp Pendleton guard post under investigation
Medical Examiner: Marine From Colorado Died By Suicide
19-Year-Old Marine Found Dead at Camp Pendleton Killed Himself: Officials
Death of Marine shot while on guard duty at Camp Pendleton ruled a suicide
Colorado Marine’s family not convinced death was a suicide
Family Convinced Marine’s Death at Camp Pendleton Was Not Suicide
Family of Camp Pendleton Marine disputes suicide ruling despite Marine Corps findings
Marine From Longmont Shot, Killed While on Duty At Camp Pendleton
Marine killed while on guard duty at California base; services to be held in Colorado
Longmont Marine took his own life
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death, and Suicide at Camp Pendleton, California (USMC)
Lance Cpl Riley Schultz, age 19 | Gun Memorial

“Leave No Soldier Behind”: The Unsolved Mystery of the Soldier Who Died in the Watchtower | Vanity Fair (January 8, 2019)

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Matthew Warren Brown, U.S. Army (via Vanity Fair Facebook)

Is the Army botching its investigations into noncombatant deaths?

I. The Gun Tower

“On the morning of May 11, 2008, a U.S. Army private second class named Matthew Warren Brown died of a single gunshot wound to the head while manning a watchtower at a forward operating base in Afghanistan. Brown was 20 years old. He was a skinny, all-American kid, a bit aimless but affable and unassuming. He was a good guy. You could see it in his face. At his funeral back home in Pennsylvania, some 200 people showed up. In the aftermath of Brown’s death, army investigators created files about the circumstances. The bullet that killed him was fired from his own weapon, an M4 carbine. He was working the six A.M. shift, alone in the watchtower by the fortified main gate to the base. The tower was known as the Gun Tower. It was made of concrete, and looked medieval when viewed from the outside. It was three stories tall. On the second and third floors it had openings covered with two-piece Plexiglas windows, some of which had broken off and been left lying in shards on the floors.” Read more from Vanity Fair here.

Related Links:
Pvt Matthew Warren Brown | Find A Grave
DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Pvt. Matthew W. Brown
Army Pvt. Matthew W. Brown | Honor the Fallen
Fort Bragg Soldier dies in Afghanistan
Soldier from Fort Bragg dies in Afghanistan
Fort Bragg soldier dies from injuries in Afghanistan
Zelienople soldier killed in Afghanistan, father says
Soldier from Zelienople killed in Afghanistan
Zelienople soldier who died in Afghanistan buried today
“Leave No Soldier Behind”: The Unsolved Mystery of the Soldier Who Died in the Watchtower | Vanity Fair
Family of soldier found dead in Afghanistan in 2008 says he did not commit suicide as claimed
Family of soldier who was found dead in Afghanistan watchtower in 2008 says he did not commit suicide, as the military claims, and had told them he feared he would be killed over his role in a drug ring that was being run on-base by a ‘thug’ sergeant
Army Pvt. Matthew Brown Died As a Result of a Non-Combat Related Incident in Afghanistan; Death Ruled Suicide But Family Alleges Murder in Vanity Fair Publication (May 11, 2008)

Top 10 on Military Justice for All in 2018 (December 31, 2018)

Forensic Files

10. Air Force Sgt. Joseph Snodgrass Hired Hitmen to Kill Wife at Clark AFB in Philippines for $400,000 Life Insurance Payout; Sentenced to Life in Prison (February 26, 1991) #ForensicFiles

Homicide Hunter

9. Army Veteran Brandin Penza Stabbed 74 Times in Colorado Springs Parking Lot by Stranger; Kevin Gooley Sentenced to 32 Years in Prison (September 23, 1994) #HomicideHunter

Forbidden Dying for Love

8. Navy Master Chief John Bench Murdered Son & Attempted to Murder Wife & Daughter in Japan, Then Killed Self in Motorcycle Crash (August 30, 2009) #ForbiddenDyingforLove

ft-hood

7. Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (February 13, 2017) #NeverForget #HonorThem

Maggie Fetty

6. Army Spouse Melinda Stewart, Army Sgt. Daniel Stewart, Jill Yousaf & Army Soldier James Catlin Conspired and Murdered Homeless Colorado Teen Maggie Fetty (November 30, 1991) #HomicideHunter

A Stranger in My Home

5. Air Force Retiree Philip Inhofer Murdered by Nevada Escort for Money and 1975 Mercedes Convertible; Michelle Cummiskey Sentenced to 25 Years to Life (March 7, 1991) #AStrangerinMyHome

cold case

4. Army Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles Found Unresponsive in Vehicle at Fort Hood Housing in Texas; Initially CID Investigated as Homicide But Later Ruled Suicide (December 24, 2016) #ColdCaseJustice

Forbidden Dying for Love 2

3. Army Staff Sgt. Paul Norris Fatally Shot Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Iraq After She Ended a Forbidden Relationship, Then Ended His Own Life (August 16, 2007) #ForbiddenDyingforLove

We Wil Never Forget

2. Fort Hood Army Spc. Zachary Moore Found Unresponsive in Barracks on Deployment to Camp Hovey, South Korea; CID Ruled Suicide (August 2, 2017) #NeverForget #HonorThem

And THANK YOU for making the MJFA Home Page our #1 for #Top10onMJFA with 85,945-4

1. Military Justice for All Home Page #ThankYou #HappyNewYear2019

Related Links:
Top 10 Posts on Military Justice for All in 2017

The Generation Why Podcast Featured the Mysterious Death of Air Force Colonel Philip Shue: Accident, Suicide or Murder? (November 4, 2018)

“April 16, 2003. San Antonio, Texas. Colonel Michael Philip Shue said goodbye to his wife and was supposed to drive to Lackland Air Force Base where he worked. But he was seen driving erratically on the highway away from both his work and his home later on. The Colonel’s car then smashed into a tree, killing him. But he sustained injuries prior to the accident that suggested that he may have been the victim of a crime. Some of these injuries included: duct tape on his wrists and ankles, a six inch wound down the center of his chest and his nipples had been cut off. A world renowned medical examiner surprisingly deemed the Colonel’s death a suicide. After Col. Shue’s wife hired two other experts a different picture came into focus. One of abduction and torture. What exactly happened to Col. Shue? Was he suicidal? Or did someone want him dead? Can Justin & Aaron get to the bottom of this mystery?” –Death of Colonel Shue, The Generation Why Podcast (November 4, 2018)

Related Links:
Mishap or Murder?
The Curious Case Of Col. Shue
The Generation Why Podcast (website)
The Generation Why Podcast (Facebook)
The Generation Why Podcast (Twitter)
Death of Colonel Shue | The Generation Why Podcast (website)
Death of Colonel Shue | The Generation Why Podcast | Stitcher
Death of Colonel Shue | The Generation Why Podcast | Poddmap
Death of Colonel Shue | The Generation Why Podcast | Podtail
Death of Colonel Shue | The Generation Why Podcast | PlayerFM
Death of Colonel Shue | The Generation Why Podcast | Chartable
Death of Colonel Shue | The Generation Why Podcast | Spreaker
Death of Colonel Shue | The Generation Why Podcast | Backtracks
Death of Colonel Shue | The Generation Why Podcast | Apple Podcasts
Air Force Col. Philip Shue Died in Apparent Car Accident, But Autopsy Revealed Much More; Texas Judge Ruled Cause of Death as Homicide (April 16, 2003)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine
Six Intriguing True Crime Podcasts Spotlighting Active Duty Military Suicide, Missing, and Murder Cases
10 Unsolved Military Cases

Crime Junkie Podcast Featured the Suspicious Deaths of LaVena Johnson & Tina Priest in ‘Conspiracy: Women in the US Military’ (October 22, 2018)

“In 2010, statistics came out that 120 female U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq had died. Half of those deaths were reported to be non-combat related. 30 those non-combat related deaths were ruled suicides, but there is evidence to suggest many of them may have actually been murders. In this episode, we dive into the case of LaVena Johnson and other women of the U.S. military who died very suspicious deaths during Operation Iraqi Freedom.” –Conspiracy: Women in the US Military, Crime Junkie Podcast (10/22/18)

Related Links:
10 Unsolved Military Cases
Crime Junkie Podcast (website)
Crime Junkie Podcast (Facebook)
Crime Junkie Podcast (Twitter)
Conspiracy: Women in the US Military | Crime Junkie Podcast (website)
Conspiracy: Women in the US Military | Crime Junkie Podcast (stitcher)
Conspiracy: Women in the US Military | Crime Junkie Podcast (Bullhorn)
Conspiracy: Women in the US Military | Crime Junkie Podcast (Podbay)
Conspiracy: Women in the US Military | Crime Junkie Podcast (Player FM)
Conspiracy: Women in the US Military | Crime Junkie Podcast (Poddmap)
Conspiracy: Women in the US Military | Crime Junkie Podcast (RadioPublic)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq; Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (July 19, 2005)
Army Pfc. Tina Priest Died From a Non-Combat Related Incident in Iraq; Death Ruled Suicide But Family Suspects Rape & Murder (March 1, 2006)
‘The Silent Truth’ Documentary: The Rape, Murder & Military Cover-Up of Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Iraq (July 1, 2014)
The Strange & Unexplained: ‘The Biggest Suspicious Unsolved Military Mysteries’
15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine
15 Movies & Documentaries That Expose the Broken Military Justice System
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members

A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (April 2018)

April 2018

Missing:
Patrick F. Carnes, Nevada (2011) | Missing Veterans
Mother Joins Search for Navy Officer Son Who Vanished on Way to Submarine Based in Connecticut
Federal agencies get involved with search for missing Martinsville man

Cold Cases:
Air Force Col. Philip Shue Died in an Apparent Car Accident, But Autopsy Revealed Much More; Texas Judge Ruled Cause of Death as Homicide (April 16, 2003)
Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Justin Lewis Shot & Killed Near Vacant Lot in Neighborhood in Killeen, Texas (April 17, 2017)

Reward Offered:
$11K offered in hunt for Marine accused of killing detective’s daughter
Former Marine wanted for murder believed to be in Mexico, manhunt underway
Authorities ask for public’s help in locating ex-Marine fugitive

Petitions:
Advocate for review and reform of injustice in the Military

Announcements:
Veterans legal clinic scheduled in Killeen
Save Our Heroes Sends Letter of Concern to Joint Regional Correctional Facility Leavenworth, Re Violation of the United Nations Human Rights Commission

Legislation:
This Gunnery Sergeant’s job destroyed his body to the point of retirement
Diagnosed With Leukemia, This Officer Was One Year From Retirement

Continue reading

The Generation Why Podcast Featured the Suspicious Death of Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Balad, Iraq: Was It Suicide or Murder? (November 19, 2017)

“Death of LaVena Johnson. July 19, 2005. Balad, Iraq. Nineteen years of age and recently deployed to Iraq, LaVena Johnson had everything going for her. A great education, determination, goals, and a great family. In letters and calls to home, she seemed quite candid about conditions there, both the good and the bad, but was also looking forward to being home for Christmas. On July 19th, though, a grim discovery was made. LaVena was found in a contractor’s tent, dead from an apparent gunshot wound to her head. An aerosol can was used to burn printed emails from a recent boyfriend. The Army ruled her death a suicide. Upset over the recent breakup with her boyfriend she must have hit her breaking point. The first autopsy didn’t really find anything to question this as a suicide. The Johnson family had her exhumed and two additional autopsies would make some startling discoveries. LaVena Johnson had suffered a broken nose, loose teeth, a black eye, and chemical burns on her genitals just to name a few. The Johnson family never believed that LaVena would take her own life and despite the questions surrounding her death, no one seems to want to go beyond saying that this case is ‘inconclusive’. Join us for a difficult discussion of losing a loved one under mysterious circumstances, not getting answers from investigators, and the possible reasons for why LaVena Johnson died back in 2005 in Iraq.” –Death of LaVena Johnson, The Generation Why Podcast (November 19, 2017)

Related Links:
The Generation Why Podcast (website)
The Generation Why Podcast (Facebook)
The Generation Why Podcast (Twitter)
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast (website)
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast | Stitcher
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast | RadioPublic
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast | PlayerFM
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast | PodBean
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast | TopPodcast
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast | Poddmap
Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq; Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (July 19, 2005)
‘The Silent Truth’ Documentary: The Rape, Murder & Military Cover-Up of Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Iraq (July 1, 2014)
Crime Junkie Podcast Featured the Suspicious Deaths of LaVena Johnson & Tina Priest in ‘Conspiracy: Women in the US Military’ (October 22, 2018)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine
Six Intriguing True Crime Podcasts Spotlighting Active Duty Military Suicide, Missing, and Murder Cases
15 Movies & Documentaries That Expose the Broken Military Justice System
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)
The Death of LaVena Johnson (Unsolved Mysteries)
10 Unsolved Military Cases