Faculty Scholarship & Activities: Nov. 19, 2012

Published: November 19th, 2012

Category: News

Michelle Jacobs
Professor of Law

“State task force addresses self-defense” (Nov. 14, 2012, The Alligator)

Jacobs commented in this article on Florida’s Stand Your Ground Task Force, which UF Law’s Criminal Justice Center participated in.

From the article:
“The Criminal Justice Center wanted the task force to study the data longer,” said Michelle Jacobs, a UF law professor. “They wanted them to do a more in-depth study so we could really understand what the numbers are saying.”

Jacobs said some of the data the panel reviewed isn’t a clear representation of what is happening across the state. For example, she said, different words are used by different police departments to convey the same meaning.

Diane Mazur
Professor of Law

“Adultery, an Ancient Crime That Remains on Many Books” (Nov. 14, 2012, The New York Times)

This article points out that while many saw the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus as an act of acknowledging inappropriate behavior, adultery is still on the books as a criminal act in 23 states and is against the military code of conduct. Mazur weighed in on the likelihood of criminal prosecution.

From the article:
Mr. Petraeus is a retired four-star general who collects a military pension and remains subject to military codes of conduct that prohibit adultery. But Diane H. Mazur, a professor of law at the University of Florida and a former Air Force officer, said that the chances of the Army’s calling Mr. Petraeus back to active service in order to court-martial him over adultery are zero, as are any chances of state criminal charges being brought.

“That would be reserved for the most unimaginably serious circumstances,” Professor Mazur said. Even within the military code, she added, adultery is charged as a criminal offense only when “the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces,” she read from the manual for courts-martial. That meant something larger than seemed at stake here.

“For The Military, A Possible Fall From Grace” (Nov. 13, 2012, NPR)

The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus after admitting to adultery has raised multiple questions about the military’s reputation. Mazur addresses some of the issues, including accountability generally, and specifically regarding sexual misconduct.

From the article:
“Since Vietnam, we have come to a very dangerous bargain,” says Diane Mazur, author of A More Perfect Military. “You don’t ask me to serve in the military, and in return I will not ask questions or be difficult or demand accountability.”

That lack of accountability, Mazur says, extends to sexual misconduct.

“It’s ironic that what seems like the entire federal government has been mustered to address Gen. Petraeus’ affair, but we find it so difficult to focus in any effective way on the far more serious and long-standing problem of sexual assault,” Mazur says.