Saturday, March 18, 2023

Indiana breaks ranks

A bill that would remove the right of Indiana's state military personnel to refuse nonjudicial punishment is on its way to the governor's desk. Dollars to donuts he signs it. The Indiana Capitol Chronicle has this worthwhile status report by Leslie Bonilla Muñiz. Excerpt:

Asked if Indiana should give the guard the resources to hold courts-martial — rather than block members from demanding them — key lawmakers acknowledged some need, but to varying degrees.

“If the issue is that you don’t have the resources or locations, that might be something we need to look at,” Senate Pro Tem Rodric Bray told reporters Thursday. “I’ll tell you the other side … I’m not sure for these these minor issues that we really want our National Guard using their time and their resources to do that more lengthy process.”

“If this [bill] is what they want, I’m very happy to support it,” Bray added.

House Speaker Todd Huston congratulated Senators for passing the bill in comments to reporters. Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta said he hoped [Governor Eric] Holcomb would find room in the budget for trial resources.

Guard leaders said there’d been four reported sexual assault cases last year, but didn’t ask Holcomb to convene courts-martial even for those cases, WFYI reported. It is unclear the outcome of those cases.

It would be nice to know if the four 2022 sexual assault cases were referred to civilian prosecutors.

When signed, the measure will create a major discrepancy between the rights of Indiana National Guard and Air National Guard personnel and those of federal military personnel.

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