According to a report earlier this year by the Government Accountability Office, racial disparity is not limited to just the civilian justice system, and racial bias, unfortunately, remains alive and well. The study found that people of color, such as Blacks and Hispanics, were more likely than their white counterparts to end up in front of a general court-martial.
Despite being considered as one of the U.S.’s greatest examples of racial equity, it appears that the military is no different than the rest of the population. According to the report, “Black, Hispanic, and make service members were more likely than white and female service members to be the subjects of recorded investigations in all of the military services, and were more likely to be tried in general and special courts-martial in the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Air Force.”
Congress Requests Investigation
The report, which was ordered by Congress during a revision of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, took a look at records ranging in time from 2013 to 2017. Unfortunately, the report did not look at or share the reason as to why more minorities ended up in court more frequently, though it found no evidence of selective prosecution.
The military has long remained proud of its history of racial “acceptance,” with it integrating ranks in 1948 despite most of the country remaining under Jim Crow laws. Unfortunately, the ability to come to conclusions regarding the military’s racial disparity is not quite so simple, especially because the services have not consistently tracked the race of suspects and defendants. The Coast Guard, on the other hand, didn’t even include racial data in its files.
A Change to the System
According to the report, “The military services collect gender information, but they do not collect and maintain consistent information about race and ethnicity in their investigations, military justice, and personnel databases. This limits their ability to collectively or comparatively assess these data to identify disparities.”
As a step to remedy this major issue, the Government Accountability Office has now asked the military to step up its system when it comes to tracking racial data in order to determine if its justice system is equitable. This would mean including race with all military justice records from non-judicial punishment to investigations. The military now has a plan to fix its record-keeping by the end of 2020.
The Court Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC Can Help Those Who Have Been Wrongly Charged with a Crime
An entry in one’s military record can have a profound impact on many things, with many veterans even being unjustly discharged. That’s why it is in the individual’s best interest to fight these charges. To do so, it is wise to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced Court Martial Law Attorney who has a deep understanding of the legal requirements and applicable regulations and laws surrounding the issues.
At the Colorado law firm of Court Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC, we have experience with helping our members of the military who have been wrongly accused or convicted of a crime. We understand the work that has gone into your military career. That’s why our attorneys will fight for you, as you have so courageously chosen to fight for our country. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!