Friday, April 30, 2021

Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Bill to Overhaul Military Justice

A Bipartisan Group of more than 30 Senators is Sponsoring a Bill that would Overhaul Military Justice by taking the Decision to Prosecute Serious Crimes including Sexual Assault away from Commanders to Independent Prosecutors.

The Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act, unveiled April 29th, comes as the Pentagon itself is Reviewing how it handles Sexual Assault.

The Legislation would “take critical steps to create a more professional and transparent military justice system for serious crimes—including rape and sexual assault, murder, manslaughter, child endangerment, child pornography, and negligent homicide,” according to a statement from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

The Legislation would:

- Move the decision on whether to prosecute serious crimes to independent, trained, and professional military prosecutors, while leaving misdemeanors and uniquely military crimes within the chain of command. By moving this work off of the commander’s plate, it will empower commanders to focus on mission critical activities—while specifically preserving the authorities that a commander needs to provide strong leadership and a successful command climate.

- Ensure the Department of Defense supports criminal investigators and military prosecutors through the development of unique skills needed to properly handle investigations and cases related to sexual assault and domestic violence.

- Require the Secretary of Defense to survey and improve the physical security of military installations – including locks, security cameras, and other passive security measures – to increase safety in lodging and living spaces for service members.

- Increase, and improve training and education on military sexual assault throughout our armed services. This training would help shift the culture in the military and ensure that the armed services can enforce a no-tolerance zone for sexual assault and other grievous crimes.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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