Federal Rule of Evidence 412 and Military Rule of Evidence 412: Are They Serving Their Purpose?
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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The purpose of the research paper is to examine and evaluate the present effectiveness of two evidentiary rules The Privacy Protection for Rape Victims Act of 1978, more commonly known as Federal Rule of Evidence 412, and its military counterpart, Military Rule of Evidence 412. The Ninety-Fifty Congress of 1978 to protect rape victims during trial from the degrading and embarrassing disclosure of intimate details about their private sexual behavior. Military Rule of Evidence was adopted for military trial practice in 1980 for the same purpose. Both rules permits evidence of the victims past sexual behavior when constitutionally required to be admitted. The essay evaluates whether Federal Rule 412 and Military Rule 412 have been emasculated in light of the various interpretations by the federal and military courts of the constitutionally required provisions. After examination of the historical background, purpose, and scope of Federal Rule 412 and Military Rule 412, the essay analyzes federal and military rape cases in which the courts determined that evidence of the victims past sexual behavior was constitutionally required to be admitted. The analysis leads to a final assessment that victims of rape or nonconsensual sexual offenses do not have any more assurance today than they had before the enactment of Federal Rule 412 and Military Rule 412 that their private sexual behavior will not unnecessarily be made public at trial. Author
- Sociology and Law