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View Diary: Allen West continues to have opinions on things (62 comments)

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  •  West is an idiot, having said that (0+ / 0-)

    there have been substantial changes in how the military handles sexual assaults over the last 5 years.

    I would argue they now do it better than civilians do in many jurisdictions.  They provide special prosecutors and high quality experts that do nothing but prosecute sexual assault cases, they've provided unit victim advocates at the lowest levels, heck the law was changed twice, once so severe in favor of the government that the courts said it was unconstitutional.

    The army is trying cases that civilians laugh at.  I know, I've been the one laughed at, and I've tried many cases that started in the civilian sector where they had no interest in going forward with the case, so we took it and did.

    There is really not much evidence that the rate of sexual assaults is higher in the military than in the civilian population when you look at similar age cohorts, or that it is prosecuted less vigorously in the military than the civilian population.

    There are still problems, getting rid of the power of commanders to overturn convictions is a necessary thing as it is an anachronism, but I can tell you unequivocally that turning it over to civilians will not significantly make things better in how these cases are prosecuted...nor will it significantly change conviction rates.

    •  I think taking this out of the hands... (0+ / 0-)

      of CO's with no legal training,  who may have some antiquated views is the primary objective for changing jurisdictions. I served 23 years in the USAF, I've had some CO's who weren't fit to lead a boy scout troop.
      I think that until the power is removed from CO's, this is best tried in a civilian venue.

      •  my responses (0+ / 0-)

        1. why is a civilian venue better? What do you think is more likely to happen in a civilian venue? Why is the local county prosecutor better than a General?

        2. I can tell you that the vast majority of the time, the generals follow the advice of their staff judge advocates.  If they didn't before, they CERTAINLY are going to start doing so now. So effectively it boils down to what does the JAG think.

        Why is that worse than a local county prosecutor?

        •  SHOULD boil down to what the JAG thinks... (0+ / 0-)

          but, won't necessarily. It's like giving a CEO legal discretion regarding an employee accused of a criminal act. Flag officers are notoriously political, I don't see a BG, or MG bucking the influence of a 4 star, who in turn is probably looking for a high paying position in the 'complex', or an influential political position.
          Personally, I have more confidence in my local states attorney.

          •  99 percent (0+ / 0-)

            the number of times it doesn't happen you can count on one hand...and based on my experience, your confidence is severely misplaced.

            •  You may be right.. (0+ / 0-)

              I spent my career in IT, and I've never been in a legal jam my entire life. However, I've seen what treachery, and sycophantism has done to those caught in the switches of military justice. Those deemed in high regard skate, those not in high regard, get the whole 9 yards.
              Perhaps I'm naïve to believe this same environment does not exist in the civil system. But, surely you must agree, the military has done a very poor job prosecuting issues regarding sexual crimes. If it can be fixed in house, great. Don't expect a lot of people to be optimistic at this prospect.

              •  no I dont agree (0+ / 0-)

                but you tell me exactly how they've done a very poor job.

                What are the metrics.  What should they be doing exactly.

                What kind of cases should they be prosecuting that they arent.  What kind of programs should they have that they don't.  What percentages are they not hitting.

                •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

                  Are you telling me you aren't aware of the favoritism in the military? I've seen pilots break into an all ranks club steal booze, get caught, and nothing happen. Would an enlisted guy have gotten that break? Hell no. I've seen pilots get away with much worse. What kind of impact do you think this has on moral?
                  Over my 23 years in the service, I've seen countless incidents of favoritism where privileged wrongdoers were not charged, while the non-privileged are prosecuted for near identical actions.
                  I thought justice was 'blind', it sure isn't in the USAF. If you disagree, ask around. You'll see the consensus of opinion will be very similar to mine, and the average enlisted troop has little to no confidence in the military judicial system.
                  Sorry, I didn't keep 'metrics'.

                  •  your answer is favoritism? (0+ / 0-)

                    that thing that exists every where humanity does?

                    And none of that tells me anything...other than you aren't a big fan of the military.

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