Starting with this issue of the Northwest Guardian, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Public Affairs office will publish the names and units of Soldiers found guilty at courts-martial on a monthly basis. Although the names have always been a matter of public record, legal and public affairs officials at JBLM hope a monthly roll up of the names of those found guilty will be helpful in trying to prevent future law breaking.
“There are two major factors behind publishing the courts-martial: general deterrence and transparency,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Clark, I Corps chief of military justice. “We will be releasing them for both I Corps and the 7th Infantry Division.”
Courts-martial run the gamut of potential crimes. Whether that be larceny, sexual assault, battery or anything else, they will be disclosed.
“Over the years, we’ve only occasionally printed results of courts-martial, and then only using the ranks and units of the Soldiers in the Northwest Guardian,” said Joseph Piek, chief of public affairs at JBLM. “Printing courts-martial results on a consistent, monthly basis in the base newspaper and in our online publication with names, ranks and units of those convicted, will be a collaborative effort with our JBLM legal teams.
“If it helps deter even one service member and causes them to take pause from committing a crime, then we’re supportive of this effort.”Sounds like a good idea, which other commands should emulate.