Thoughts so far:
-A major talking point for the opposition to MJIA appears to be emerging: the claim that the rest of society is also really bad. This is best illustrated by Schlueter & Schenck's paper on comparisons with college sexual assault.
And a major talking point has emerged on the other side (I think this is new or is at least being much more emphasized now than it previously was): most commanders (97%?) do not have general court CA power.
One can also look at their conclusions from another angle:
"The military rate per thousand of felony-level sexual assault or rape convictions for the population is seventeen times the rate per thousand of Texas and twenty-five times the rate per thousand of New York. The adjudication outcomes for felony rape defendants in forty large urban counties with a total population of about sixty million people show a substantially lower conviction rate for rape than in the military justice system for sexual assault."
It could also be interpreted as "UCI is alive and well" in the military justice system in sexual assault cases . . . .
DR: what did you think of the comparison between SJAs and junior associates?
That was painful.
Of course it’s true that some SJA’s are not criminal law experts, and that’s a legitimate criticism, but the phrasing was way over the top.
So a couple of observations:
1. Part of the confusion is different services using the same term for different things. Such as “SJA.” (Which means very different things in the Army than in the Air Force for example.). This is horribly confusing for members of Congress and the media. (Frankly, I’m not sure that anyone other than civilian defense counsel and CAAF judges really are familiar with the varying nomenclature.)
2. We all know that in reality it’s only the Marine Corps where commanders are actually making referral decisions. Command UCMJ authorities has been a notional fiction in the other services for years.
What is the distinction with the marine corps?
MC MJ is still command-driven. For example, a Marine commander will initiate a pretrial confinement, essentially without legal input (obviously lawyers are involved at the subsequent hearings). In the other services PTC will essentially be initiated by a lawyer and signed by a commander.