here in Military Times:
We should use training and encouragement to prosecute, McSally said, “and if the commander is the problem or fails in his or her duties, [he or she] must be removed and held harshly accountable.”Editor's comment: the issue surrounding who should make disposition decisions -- commanders (18th century) or lawyers outside the chain of command (21st century) -- is not confined to sex offenses. It is a structural issue that, while currently generating the most controversy in the context of sex offenses, exists across the board for a serious offenses under the UCMJ. The only real issue is where to draw the line in defining what offenses are minor and can remain in commanders' hands. The Manual for Courts-Martial (2019 ed.) uses one year's confinement as the guideline for defining minor offenses for purposes of the administration of non-judicial punishment (Art. 15).
Unfortunately, history shows us that the expectation that commanders will execute an impartial and fair interpretation of justice is unfounded. Commanders should, but are not required, to rely on proven tools: investigative experts, victim advocacy experts and prosecutorial experts for an informed, just outcome.
Empowering military prosecutors to lead the process and decide whether to prosecute cases, or if necessary, turn over cases to the relevant civilian justice systems, is the answer.
After years of painful silence, McSally bravely has taken steps to fix a broken justice system by disclosing her horrible rape and revictimization by her command.
What if there had been no fear of retribution and her command had forwarded her complaint to trained investigators, prosecutors and victim advocate lawyers without bias or command influence? This is the next step to make our armed services mission ready: Reform the Uniform Code of Military Justice and reverse the trends of a rape culture that is destroying our military.