A Fort Hood soldier recently killed three people, including his 28-year-old wife before turning the gun on himself – making this the third murder-suicide involving troops stationed at Fort Hood in less than a year.
In recent years, Fort Hood has been the center of several gruesome incidents, with a total of 64 soldiers and civilians being injured or killed in mass shootings. It is safe to assume that any suspected service members involved were subjected to court-martial under the UCMJ.
The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is the foundation of military law in the United States, and it applies to members of: the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, and more. The UCMJ also applies to retired members of the Armed Forces who are entitled to retirement pay.
MURDER UNDER ARTICLE 118 OF THE UCMJ
Any member of the uniformed services, unlawfully kills another human being when:
The killing was premediated:
- Intends to kill another or inflict great bodily harm;
- Engages in an act that is inherently dangerous to others and displays a wanton disregard for human life; or
- The killing occurs while the offender attempts or engages in the act of burglary, sodomy, rape, robbery, or aggravated arson.
When a service member commits any of the above offenses, he or she is guilty of murder, and shall be subjected to a court-martial. If the offender is found guilty of premeditation, or committed the murder while committing one of the offenses listed in (4), then he or she shall be punished by life imprisonment or death as is directed by the court-martial.
WHEN PTSD PLAYS A ROLE
According to the Society for Military Psychology, the number of veterans in the criminal justice system has been described by some as a national crisis. The surge has been linked to symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), specifically as it relates to hyper-aggression.
While PTSD can be associated with a traumatic event, studies revealed that hostility as it relates to PTSD is more common in soldiers with combat experience, vs. soldiers who experienced traumatic events.
According to the Society, 40% of veterans who suffer from PTSD have committed a violent crime since they completed their military service – a staggering statistic that cannot be ignored in the field of military defense.
If you are member of the Armed Forces and are facing criminal charges for a violent crime, contact Crisp & Associates, LLC right away to schedule a free consultation. We provide nationwide representation.