A reader passes on this article from defenseone.com, in which Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) fires another broadside at the military justice system:
It is long overdue to fundamentally change the system to strengthen our military readiness and give victims of sexual assault a fair shot at justice.
I did not come to this conclusion lightly. I came to this conclusion because I listened to the voices of the too many brave survivors who wanted nothing more than to serve our country honorably, but have been left twice betrayed by the system that failed them. A system where 62 percent of those who report a crime say they have been retaliated against, 50 percent of women think nothing good will come out of reporting, and 25 percent of the assailants are directly within the victim’s chain of command.
Survivors like Sarah Plummer, who was raped as a young Marine. She said, “Having someone within your direct chain of command just doesn’t make any sense, it’s like getting raped by your brother and having your dad decide the case.”
The Senator continues to push to remove commanders from the process of deciding which cases go to trial:
In September, three retired flag officers joined other former commanders and legal experts and announced their public support for the Military Justice Improvement Act – a broadly bipartisan proposal to move the decision-making authority of whether serious crimes akin to felonies should go to trial into the hands of independent, trained, military prosecutors where it belongs.