The Great Service Cultural Divides in Military Justice


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The rates at which military individuals accept NJP are also not predictable amongst the military branches. The 2009 Annual Report for the Code Committee on Military Justice demonstrates what a small number of in the military exercise their right to trial by court-martial, and the disparities between the branches.

In 2009, the Coast Guard reported less than 3.0 percent of all disciplinary cases were handled through a court-martial. The Army adjudicated 5.7 percent of all cases through a court-martial, while the Navy/Marine Corps and Air Force were at 11.5 percent and 9.9 percent individually. In this manner, more than 90 percent of military individuals accepted administrative discipline when charged with unfortunate behavior, instead of fighting at a court-martial.

For what reason would a Sailor in the Navy accused of violating the UCMJ be twice as prone to look for trial by court-martial than a Soldier in the Army? This is an especially inquisitive statistic since a Sailor is significantly more to be attached to or embarked in a vessel than a Soldier.

Where the Differences Lie

Warriors call Article 15 (for the UCMJ segment that oversees nonjudicial discipline) what the Marines call Office Hours, and the Navy and Coast Guard call Captain’s or Admiral’s Mast, however, the distinctive vocabulary doesn’t explain the distinctions in the quantities of the individuals who battle charges at a trial by court-martial.

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There is also the legend that the conviction rate is extremely high in courts-martial. You may have heard Mark Twain’s statement on such statistics, “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.” These purported high conviction rates arose from including the many courts-martial in which an accused administration part pleads liable and doesn’t battle a charge, and this statistic doesn’t distinguish between courts in which the accused is spoken to by aggressive direction who isn’t afraid of a battle and those individuals who are spoken to by insight who view their job as facilitating liable pleas and plea agreements. Those are only two reasons why these statistics give a false impression of conviction rates.

There is a general discernment that court-martial proceedings are saved for progressively genuine offenses, while NJP is legitimate to correct minor infractions. This may cause those accused of minor infractions to assume that they will be in an ideal situation accepting NJP. This is certainly not always the situation, especially when the service member isn’t blameworthy of the charge, regardless of how minor, or in those cases where the proof is lacking. At that point, it is frequently in the best interest of the servicemember to reject NJP and demand trial by court-martial.

Generally, Servicemembers Have a Right to Trial By Court-Martial

The important thing for all help individuals to know is that, in almost all circumstances, they have a right to trial by court-martial, regardless of the weights they experience. The best path isn’t always the easy path or the generally accepted path, however, it is in your best interest to know your choices when your opportunity, career, or future is at stake.

Before choosing this magnitude, a servicemember should carefully think about the facts, protections, and career outcomes of any proceeding. Those accused of violating the UCMJ or who are under scrutiny ought not to waive their right to trial by court-martial without first speaking to a knowledgeable military barrier lawyer.

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