(LOS ANGELES TIMES) WASHINGTON — The Defense Department, under pressure from Congress to reexamine the way it handles sexual assault cases, announced Tuesday a comprehensive review of the entire military justice system.
"It's been over 30 years since the military code of justice was reviewed. It's simply time," said Lt. Col. J. Todd Breasseale, a Pentagon spokesman. "Sexual assault will certainly be part of the compendium of issues that will be looked at, but it's by no means the sole issue."
Members of Congress and women's groups have been strongly critical of how the military handles sexual assault cases, particularly the authority that military officers have to overturn the convictions of those under their command. A proposal by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) to remove the chain of command from authority over cases involving major crimes was blocked last month by a filibuster in the Senate.
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