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On December 10, 2020 the Supreme Court decided United States v. Briggs. The question presented was whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces erred in concluding–contrary to its own longstanding precedent–that the Uniform Code of Military Justice allows prosecution of a rape that occurred between 1986 and 2006 only if it was discovered and charged within five years.  Briggs argued on appeal that rape was not “punishable by death” and thus was subject to the five-year statute of limitations for non-capital crimes. The United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (AFCCA) rejected his challenge, but upon appeal tp to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the C.A.A.F. reversed the lower court. 

Justice Alito wrote for a 8-0 majority, finding that there was no statute of limitations for military rape. Justice Amy Coney Barrett took no part in the decision. 

Arthur Rizer, Resident Senior Fellow at the R Street Institute, and Prof. Richard Sala, Assistant Professor of Law at the Vermont Law School, join us today to discuss this decision and its implications.