Monday, August 12, 2019

Court-martial pardons and the rule of law

Kevin Govern and Jesse Hamilton have written this thoughtful essay for the Penn Law Rule of Law Post on the potential rule of law downside of presidential clemency in military cases. Excerpt:
"The purpose of executive clemency is to correct for injustices that sometimes occur within the legal system. Its purpose is not to arbitrarily forgive those who have been dealt with justly under the UCMJ and especially not to curry political favor or to attempt to divert the public’s attention from other controversial matters. This is all the more true when the pardon at issue may serve as a detriment to military morale and discipline. Future pretrial and post-trial comments, clemency actions, and pardons should be measured to reinforce military members’ and the public’s confidence in the military justice system, support the rule of law, and discourage future war crimes by members of the U.S. military."

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