The US military will be able to prosecute more people in military tribuns 2019
Military tribunal trials are set to become more common as the Trump administration seeks to curb the excesses of the Obama administration.
The US Army has announced a new policy, which will allow US soldiers to be charged with crimes in military courts as early as the end of 2020.
Under the new policy and a new amendment approved by Congress, soldiers will be eligible for a lesser sentence of a court martial if they are convicted of an offense involving the use of force, misconduct, or threats of force in connection with a conflict or incident that is in progress.
“We are taking action to address the systemic abuse of power in the military, including the use and misuse of force,” Lt Gen. Mark Martins, the US Army Chief of Staff, said in a statement.
“This new policy will allow us to reduce the number of military tribu- courts in the Army and give our troops the chance to pursue justice and accountability in the process.”
The new policy was proposed by Martins after a Pentagon study found that there were more than 2,600 military tribunic- court cases each year.
Martins has also proposed reforms to the Military Commissions Act, which allows the US military to transfer the cases to the civilian courts.
Martens office said that the policy will “ensure fairness for all parties involved in the criminal justice system.”
The policy comes after months of criticism of the Trump Administration’s handling of cases of abuse and misconduct.
In May, Martins told Congress that he would propose reforms to change how the military prosecutes its cases.
The US military has been criticized by watchdog groups, including Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., for failing to prosecute military officers who are convicted and prosecuted.
In March, Martens staff recommended changes to the military tribune system, which allow the military to use a special military court to hear cases in which the accused officer faces lesser charges.
Marts office has also called for changes to civilian tribun- tals in order to increase transparency and accountability.