By Traci Hukill
"Commander discretion" is enshrined in the Universal Military Code of Justice (sic) and vigorously defended by military leaders as a way to protect the investment represented by a soldier; leniency is endorsed essentially for assailants who are regarded as good soldiers. A 2001 panel that assessed the UMCJ on its 50th anniversary recommended curtailing some of that discretion, but military and civilian defense officials resist the idea.
JAG Hunter note: The military's punitive justice system is run by officer elites, without any congressional oversight - military governors exercising unlawful command influence - what Ms. Hukill describes as "commander discretion." Also: UCMJ stands for Uniform Code of Military Justice.
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