OK, saw this story on Fox News this evening: Murder Conviction of US Marine Overturned.
I am not going to comment on the guys innocence or guilt. That is not why I am bringing this matter up in the first place. My commentary is about the military and its tendency to have poor prosecution records.
There is a reason for this:
- The military does not normally get the best lawyers ever produced by law schools around the country. Let’s face it, the pay that they receive is next to nothing compared to what a good lawyer will make outside of the military.
- Even if the military does get a good lawyer through someone’s patriotism, the lawyers run into problems due to pressures above them in the military rank structure. Some admiral or general wants to cover his butt, so he basically commands the lawyer to go after the defendant. That pressure causes mistakes to happen, because sometimes these things should take time and follow all of the procedures, without skipping any steps. The pressure from these higher-ups bring about short-cuts that are frowned upon in the legal community, and thus a technicality in the prosecution is created.
Of course, there are other reasons not stated here, but these popped into my head right at the forefront.