On Friday, CAAF distributed to the various appellate divisions hard copies of the FY 2009 Annual Report of the Code Committee on Military Justice. (An electronic version is available here.) I’ve had a busy Easter weekend, so I haven’t had as much chance to play with the numbers as I would have liked. But I did crunch a few numbers.
Overall, the total GCM/SPCM case load dipped about 2% from FY 2008 to FY 2009. But that overall decrease was due almost entirely to a reduction in Naval courts-martial. The number of both GCMs and SPCMs increased in both the Army and the Air Force — with the number of Air Force SPCMs increasing by a huge 16.38% from FY 2008 to FY 2009. But in the Department of the Navy, the number of GCMs sank by 13% and the number of SPCMs by 11% from FY 2008 to FY 2009. (The Coast Guard tried one fewer GCM in FY 2009 compared to FY 2008 while the number of Coast Guard SPCMs was unchanged.) Interestingly, despite the large jump in Air Force SPCM cases tried in FY 2009, the number that will go on for appellate review actually shrank due to a small increase in the percentage of Air Force SPCMs ending in acquittal and an 8% drop in the percentage of Air Force SPCMs ending in a conviction that resulted in a BCD.
The other thing I looked at was the military justice system’s acquittal rate. The overall acquittal rate was almost unchanged from FY 2008 to FY 2009 (7.65136% in FY 2008 compared to 7.65306% in FY 2009). But the acquittal rate differed significantly from service to service. For example, in both FY 2008 and FY 2009, the percentage of Air Force GCMs ending in a acquittal was more than twice that for the Army.