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Reuters: Pentagon to ask for change to military law that lets commanders set aside jury verdicts

Posted Apr 8, 2013 5:41 PM CDT
By Stephanie Francis Ward

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Chuck Hagel, the U.S. defense secretary, will ask Congress to change military law that allows senior commanders to set aside or modify jury convictions for major crimes, including sexual assault, Reuters reports.

Hagel in March asked the Pentagon to review the law after a senior commander set aside an Air Force lieutenant colonel’s sexual assault conviction. The conviction came with a one-year prison term and service dismissal, which was thrown out. According to Reuters, the U.S. military has been criticized for not dealing effectively with a large number of sexual assault cases.

Information about Hagel’s decision comes from a U.S. defense official, Reuters reports, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Reuters: Defense secretary to ask for change in military law allowing commanders to set aside sex assault verdicts

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