Monday, June 13, 2011

Decline in Courts-martial in Navy

The Navy Times reports that the Navy has seen a steady decline in the number of sailors who have faced the most serious court-martial proceedings in the past decade.  “A busy military is military that doesn’t have a lot of time to commit a lot of crime,” said Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice.  The article also quotes other attorneys saying that sailors are behaving better.  However, they also point out that commanders are increasingly opting to dispose of cases at the lowest form of court-martial or through administrative means. The independent panel’s February report didn’t provide statistics on lower-level disciplinary actions.  The article provides the following statistics: "The Navy tried 252 cases at general court-martial in fiscal 2000, a figure that fell to 108 in fiscal 2010. A total of 755 cases were tried at special court-martial in fiscal 2000, a number that plummeted last fiscal year to 127."