Attorney General Rosenblum today joined a bipartisan coalition of 29 attorneys general calling on Congress to pass the Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act of 2021. The legislation, which has strong bipartisan support, would reshape the manner in which the United States military investigates and prosecutes sexual assault.
The letter can be found here.
“There is no better way to honor our veterans today—Veterans Day—than by supporting significant enhancements to the military justice system. Thus I am proud to join a majority of my state Attorney General colleagues in calling on Congress to pass the Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act of 2021,“ said Attorney General Rosenblum. “First and foremost, decisions regarding prosecution of sexual assaults must be made by independent, trained military prosecutors. But, perhaps most important of all is the proposed Act’s emphasis on prevention of sexual assault in the military. To that I say: It’s about time!”
In the letter sent today, the coalition highlights the need to address serious, longstanding problems in underreporting and prosecuting sexual assaults in the military. The Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act would professionalize the military’s prosecution of serious crimes like sexual assault. The Act would ensure that decisions about whether to prosecute sexual assault or domestic violence crimes are made by independent, trained, professional military prosecutors while leaving uniquely military crimes within the chain of command.
Additionally, the Act requires increased sexual assault prevention training for military personnel, as well as added instruction for prosecutors on the proper conduct, presentation, and handling of sexual assault and domestic violence cases. If passed, the Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act would constitute the largest change to the military justice system in the last 70 years.
Joining Oregon AG Rosenblum in calling on Congress to pass the Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act are the Attorneys General of Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.