How law enforcement choose offenses and how they should look at the elements of the crimes

Elements of the offenses and law enforcement officers.

Closing Arguments Examples: Kick-Ass Closing Arguments Part 1: Closing Argument Template

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When punitive articles are taught, it is traditional to discuss each offense and then review the elements. This is not a useful approach for this new Article because of the large number of offenses. Such an approach is also not helpful for it is the facts that result from the investigation that will drive what offense occurred, and until the investigation is completed agents and the prosecution do not know what offense, if any, has been committed.

In other words, law enforcement officers should not approach an investigation focusing on the elements of 36 offenses (though certainly they should be globally familiar with key elements and definitions), but determine the facts and then – in conjunction with the trial counsel – examine what offenses may have been committed. Once the facts are known and what elements can be satisfied should agents focus on specifically what U.C.M.J. offense, if any, was committed.

Selecting the offenses at play.

In keeping with the preceding paragraphs discussion of why agents should first collect all the facts and then review the elements of the offenses, it is recommended that investigators follow the suggested investigatory scheme on the following pages. Once the facts are known, use the charts and “elements table” to determine which offenses are at play. These tables are organized by the key elements and highlights those offenses that are limited to child-victims.) Also included is a list of key definitions and finally, a table of maximum punishments for the new Article 120 offenses.

Click here to read the next section, How to investigate, and title, an sexual offense under Article 120, UCMJ.

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