Thursday, August 14, 2014

State military justice reform: will California be a model for others?

Cal. State Sen. Alex Padilla
Any day now, a military justice reform bill will land on California Governor Jerry Brown's desk. The measure would require that sexual assaults committed by personnel of the (non-federalized) state military forces be investigated and prosecuted by civilian authorities. The bill's author, State Sen. Alex Padilla, hopes it will be a model for federal legislation and legislation in other states. Col. Jane Siegel, USMC (Ret), commented on the measure for this article:
Seigel applauds the bill saying its good in theory but notes California has no jurisdiction over the U.S. Armed Forces.
“Right now it’s a paper tiger,” she said. “They're doing the right thing for the right reasons but it doesn’t have the legs.”
CMD's [California Military Department] don't have dedicated judicial departments to adjudicate sexual assaults so policy dictates the cases get farmed out to local authorities. Padilla's bill would make it a law not just policy.

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