A letter from a group of civilian attorneys urging Congress to civilianize the military justice system. It would seem that the probative value of these perspectives is minimal. Has anyone assessed the extent of military justice experience of the signatories?
As usual, the case for "reform" is based on misinterpretation of survey data. Then, we get the apparent problem statement: In the military, the "decision to prosecute is then made by non-attorney military commanders who often experience career and higher command pressures, which are not related to the facts of the cases."
This may well be a problem, if our concern is commander bias or unfairness. Also as usual, we don't get a reference to Defense Advisory Committee on Investigation, Prosecution, and Defense of Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces Report On Investigative Case File Reviews For Military Adult Penetrative Sexual Offense Cases Closed In Fiscal Year 2017, which determined that there is "not a systemic problem with the initial disposition authority’s decision either to prefer a penetrative sexual offense charge or to take no action against the subject for that offense" and that in "94.0% and 98.5% of cases reviewed, respectively, those decisions were reasonable."
Surely members of Congress and the constituents they represent will take the perspectives offered in this letter for what little they are worth. Now, if Congress would like to survey a group of 36 SJAs or equivalents, *that* would be worth reading.
Well, you see, they solved the problem of sexual assault in their individual states so they just want to apply the same model to the military. Seems totally straightforward.
That's it! How could I have missed that explanation. Thanks for clarifying!! :)
Week In Review