Today’s NYT Op-Ed focuses on the continuing problem of sexual assault in the military. There have been some recent proposed structural changes to the UCMJ by members of Congress and it looks like more tweaking of Article 120 may be in the offing.

7 Responses to “Today’s NYT Op-Ed”

  1. stewie says:

    I give up. Just civilianize all sexual assault cases. Require the military to report every single sexual assault to local authorities. Then when we see even FEWER cases prosecuted, and even FEWER convictions perhaps folks will see that just maybe this isn’t the military justice system that’s at issue.

    I won’t deny we still have a problem, and I won’t deny that we still have sexism in the military, a lot of it. But the problem IMO is not on the military justice side.

  2. A. Hernandez says:

    I agree with stewie that civilianizing the system, although not mentioned in the Op-Ed, would likely result in fewer prosecutions (unless those making the charging decisions are given very little discretion to dismiss).  Who thinks that a convening authority would have done the same as the New York DA who dismissed the Dominique Strauss-Kahn charges and decided not to prosecute? I believe that would have been a court-martial. 

    In my experience, both prosecuting and defending, very few sexual assault cases are ignored by anyone in the charging decision-making chain.  I believe that most convening authorities and most chains of command are more inclined to ‘let the process decide’ than to dismiss charges even when in the opinion of the JAG and/or CID the charge(s) should be dismissed. 

  3. k fischer says:

    Amilcar,

    Astute observation regarding DSK.  You can add the Duke LaCrosse and Hofstra “rape” cases to the list of cases that the military would have been taken to a GCM, or at least an Article 32. 

    I am an avid viewer of the USA channel as NCIS is one of my favorite shows.  When NCIS re-runs are not aired, they usually show Law and Order: SVU, which I have grown fond of watching as it is a fantasy world (in the context of the military) where investigators actually do a thorough investigation and ALL of the Judges are defense hacks who the detectives fear before charging someone with rape. 

    I find it interesting that the SVU detectives somehow manage to question the accusers without the fear of “victimizing the victim,” a prhase which I have heard like a rallying cry at every Article 32 I have attended to explain why CID didn’t search for exculpatory evidence that I easily found.

  4. John Baker says:

    Some reporters seem to appreciate that military is not sweeping things under the carpet.  Another well written McClatchy article here:   

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/03/08/141252/marines-sex-assault-conviction.html

  5. Babu says:

    If you go to the McClatchy article linked by Col Baker, the “Featured Cartoon” to the right of the article is a rather curious juxtaposition, considering the subject matter of the article.  

  6. Just Sayin' says:

    hooray for unintended irony!!!!!!!

  7. Some Army Guy says:

    What’s interesting to me is that the stats tell one story (or are spun to tell that story), but everyone who deals in the system daily sees something very different.