Saturday, January 23, 2016

Alaska military justice bill moves ahead

In the United States, each state has its own code of military justice that is applicable to national guard troops that have not been called into federal service ("Title 32" status v. "Title 10" status). Alaska has a project underway to update its antiquated, pre-statehood law on the subject. The Associated Press has this report on the bill's progress through the legislature. The bill is now headed for floor consideration by the state House of Representatives.

How many cases come through the state court-martial system? According to the AP, there seem not to have been any courts-martial under the Alaska Code of Military Justice since its enactment in 1955. According to National Guard Capt. Forrest Dunbar, who has been involved in the revision:
“We acknowledge that there could be sort of a one-in-a-million, who knows what the exact proportion is, but a very, very unlikely chance where we would have an enemy here in Alaska and for whatever reason the federal government hasn’t responded and federalized us and in that brief window one of our soldiers could commit one of these very specific offenses. In which case we would be limited to ten years in prison.”
State codes of military justice are strongly influenced by the federal model found in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. If Alaska enacts the current proposal, it -- like other states -- will be back at it in a year or two once Congress acts on the Obama administration's recent proposals for wide-ranging changes in the UCMJ.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are subject to moderation and must be submitted under your real name. Anonymous comments will not be posted (even though the form seems to permit them).