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Military Jury System Needs Safeguards Found
in Civilian Federal Courts

Report to the Congress

June 6, 1977

In June 1977 the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) published a report making recommendations to the Congress addressing perceived inequities in the military court system. GAO had found that the military jury system was in “sharp contrast to the civilian Federal court system which guarantees the accused a trial by a jury randomly selected from a cross section of the community who meet minimum qualifying requirements.” In addition, juries generally had 12 members, and a unanimous decision was needed to convict. According to GAO, the potential for abuse in military courts was evident in the “power of the convening authority (the commanding officer who approves the trial) to select jurors, in conjunction with a minimum jury size of three to five with often only two‑thirds needed to convict. In a general courts‑martial as few as four people may be needed to convict; in a special courts‑martial only two votes may be needed.” More...

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Military Jury System Needs Safeguards Found in Civilian Federal Courts
GAO Report

 

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  March 20, 2014
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