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by on January 28, 2020
Throughout the history of the United States military justice system, there have been many occasions when the powers of a commander have been limited to the service of justice. Each time, this was due to the recognition of legislators, magistrates and the American people of the flagrant injustice and lack of professionalism in the military justice system and to a reflection of the collective shock over the violent contempt for the constitutional rights of the members of our social service. These changes are well documented and there is no evidence that commanders have been less effective in their ability to lead as a result of reduced power in this area. However, it was understood that changes were needed to move towards a more legitimate justice system.
While representing progress, these changes have been systematically instituted over time and have resulted in a disproportionate framework of procedural protections for defendants who are at the expense of victims of crimes such as rape and assault sexual. And while reforms have injected certain controls into the process, commanders who are inherently conflicting, often partial and lack legal experience, still retain their overall power over the entire justice process.
To truly guarantee equity, legitimacy, and effectiveness in the military justice system, it is necessary to start from the foundation. American society operates with fundamental respect and appreciation for the rule of law, basic equity, and justice. When a legal system is perceived as partial, arbitrary and unprofessional, those who are subject to it lose faith in its authority. Without respect for the rule of law, a system cannot function effectively or fairly. The concept of blind justice is the basis of American jurisprudence that argues that everyone is equal before the law. Unfortunately, military justice does not achieve this ideal.
No justice system should grant an individual the authority to put his finger on the scales of justice, whether on behalf of the accused or the victim.
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