In 2013, Congress abrogated the power of certain military officers to reduce court-martial sentences, thereby eliminating a military defendant’s best hope for efficient and effective relief from common legal errors in the military justice system. While the overhaul of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) in 2016 promised significant reform, it ultimately failed to substantially reduce common legal errors. This Note analyzes how the 2013 and 2016 reforms have combined to prevent military defendants from receiving timely and adequate relief. In light of this analysis, this Note suggests an amendment to the UCMJ that would restore to certain officers a limited authority to reduce sentences based on legal errors. Such a reform ultimately addresses the core concerns that led to the 2013 revision while simultaneously providing an efficient and effective remedy for common legal errors, furthering the UCMJ’s aim of promoting justice and maintaining good order and discipline.
Jacob R. Weaver,
Restoring the Power of the Convening Authority to Adjust Sentences,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol119/iss3/4