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What is the military justice process?
The military has a unique justice system that serves as the legal enforcement unit of the armed forces. It resembles the conventional system but has few variations. Usually, a court martial military lawyer is expected to represent you if you’re involved in any case in this regard. The system established in the mid-nineties is recognized worldwide as a uniform way of enacting laws in the armed services.
There are various reasons for having a distinct military law system. The process is efficient and makes sure that there’s quick and appropriate retribution on erring officials. This is necessary to maintain optimal military discipline. On the other hand, the conventional justice process requires long and lengthy procedures to give rise to unexpected outcomes. Hence, a swift justice system differentiates the military and assists its effort in creating an order. In the long run, the civilians and the nation as a whole will benefit from this impeccable justice process.
Besides, the justice process obtained in the military caters for distinct offenses such as disobedience, desertion, and improper use of firearms. These crimes might not be adequately covered by the civilian rule. Hence, there’s the provision of a uniform system capable of trying all armed personnel home and abroad. The military justice system has three categories and levels. In effect, their jurisdiction holds when there is a proper conveyance, the crime is catered for by military rule, and the court is powerful enough to try the defendant.
The first trial level in military law is the summary. This category is used to try small crimes, and their power is upon registered armed personnel. In the United States, this court can confine the accused for a maximum duration of four weeks. They can dish out hard labor for not more than a month and about fifteen days in some instances. The main aim of this level is to try minor cases and settle them in little time. However, the process of discharge and acquitted defendants must be fair and thorough. Once the accused’s permission is gotten, the court can proceed.
At the hearing, the accused is not eligible for a defense attorney. However, they may meet a lawyer before the court day for counsel. The person who presides over the court is like a solo commander because he is saddled with the responsibility of investigation, counsel, and verdict provision. It is worthy of note that this level of military justice is the least employed category.
Another level of the military law system is the special courts-martial. It typically comprises a presiding judge and a minimum of three armed personnel. However, the defendant can decide to excuse the armed personnel. In some other instances, the armed personnel can proceed without a judge.
The last one is the general category which is the most powerful system in the military. It requires a judge and a minimum of five armed personnel. The court can enact any range of punishment ranging from discharge, forfeiture to the death penalty. It also has power over every military officer.