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View Diary: Gillibrand gets two unlikely allies in fight against military sexual assault (37 comments)

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  •  there is a difference (1+ / 0-)
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    between removing all of the ability to refer cases from commanders in basically all non-military specific felony cases, and the more limited removal of the right to more or less overturn the panel when they convict under the UCMJ.

    The latter has a decent level of support within the military as well as out, the latter solves no issue that I can see and creates new ones.

    The problems w/ sexual assault in this country IMO are less about the criminal justice process in the military but more societal/human, i.e. not military-specific, and thus making extreme changes to how we do the military justice system is not going to address the root causes of why rapists rape and how to stop it, in or out of the military.

    Certain, some changes can always improve things, like removing the ability of commanders to overturn a jury conviction.  We have an appellate process for that, and we can broaden that process to make sure every accused is encompassed in it.

    We have made other changes such as special victim prosecutors at every major installation, victim advocates at every installation, and other changes.

    But commanders being part of the court-martial process lend a legitimacy to the process in the eyes of other military members and those are the folks sitting on the panels (juries) that decide guilt/innocence.

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