Loopholes in the Military Justice System

Article 92 UCMJ

Prevention

  • Focus on victim “Don’t get raped”
  • Lack of focus on MO of predators
  • No deterrents or stiff punishments for violent crimes
  • No database to track predators & prevent crimes
  • Lack of punishment/accountability for those who retaliate
  • Empowerment/Leadership/Bystander Intervention

Recruiting

  • Moral waivers, waivers in general
  • No mental health pre-assessment
  • History of recruits with felony charges
  • Predators that flock to positions of trust
  • Autonomy in position, ability to isolate

Reporting

  • Backlash on career: 92% of those who report are discharged (MRCC)
  • Lack of confidentiality: Once you report a crime, everyone knows
  • 26,300 sexual assaults/year: A number that the DoD has provided us with
  • 53% of the victims are males; men less likely to report because of shame
  • 26,300 people sexually assaulted per year does not include sexual harassment
  • Sex harassment is reported to Equal Employment Opportunity, Commander’s program
  • 87% do not report sexual assault; More then half are afraid of retaliation
  • Chain of Command influence; Every level can impact victim’s decision to move forward
  • Education for forensics; A thorough knowledge of importance of preserving evidence
  • Retaliation; Impacts on troops who report: not believed, punished, bullied, isolated, etc.
  • Formal process w/ legal focus; Report to Commander doesn’t require medical evaluation
  • DoD reports 50% increase in reporting. Does that mean increase in violent crimes?

Chain of Command

  • Depends on Personality
  • Impact on Career
  • Who is more important?
  • No legal expertise
  • No trauma experience
  • No understanding of Modus Operandi
  • Feres Doctrine/Lack of Accountability

Investigation

  • Victim centered investigation
  • Good soldier defense
  • More support for criminal then victim
  • Who investigates?
  • Competing efforts
  • OSI, CID, Commander, Prosecution, Defense
  • No criminal history on record

Forensics

  • Importance of procedure
  • Collection/Storage
  • Use in trial as evidence
  • Coordinating forensics with reports of crimes
  • Jurisdiction

Prosecution

  • Command Influenced trial
  • Commander decides to prosecute
  • Special Victims Counsel has no say
  • Lack of witnesses
  • Experts on Criminal MO
  • Coordination of multiple victims

Punishment

  • Weak punishments
  • Sex Offenders in Neighborhoods
  • Minimal deterrents for future crimes

Mental Health

  • Medication Treatment Centered
  • Understaffed Mental Health (if any)
  • Misdiagnosis in favor of government
  • Lacking Holistic PTSD Approach

Documentation

  • Commander’s Discretion
  • Criminal Characteristics
  • Permanent Files
  • Transitional Employment
  • Lack of Continuity
  • High employee turn over rate

Intelligence

  • Centralized Database
  • Connecting Crimes
  • Tracking Known Predators
  • Suicide vs Murder
  • Suicide (Bullying & Retaliation)
  • Who is retaliating?
  • Need to track red flags

Discharge

  • Errant Diagnosis
  • PTSD/MST
  • Medical Process
  • Misconduct
  • Retirement

Veterans Affairs

  • Delays in Care
  • Transition is not smooth
  • Medication focused

Congress

  • Claire McCaskill – Keep the Chain of Command in tact; status quo
  • Kirsten Gillibrand/MJIA – Victims report to military prosecutor instead of Commander
  • Jackie Speier/Stop Act – Remove the Chain of Command from reporting, investigating, and prosecuting violent offenders in US Military.

American Public

  • Saturated with victim accounts
  • Desensitized to violence in general
  • Blindly following causes
  • Trust that Government will fix

Media

  • Messages are sensationalized
  • Misinformation in general
  • Distractions
  • Missing key information
  • Education of military culture

Veteran Organizations

  • Competing efforts
  • Lack of unity
  • Decision making lacks all information
  • Egos, fame seekers, etc.

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