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Military Law Review

ARTICLE: THE COURT-MARTIAL PANEL SELECTION PROCESS: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS.

Summer, 1992

137 Mil. L. Rev. 103

Author

MAJOR STEPHEN A. LAMB *

Excerpt

[I]t is proper that you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our government, and consequently those which ought to shape its administration. . . . Equal and exact justice to all men . . . and trial by juries impartially selected -- these principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. . . . They should be the creed of our political faith . . . the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety. 1
 
I. Introduction

This statement, taken from Jefferson's first inaugural address, highlights the importance of trial by jury to the American system of government. The civilian system of criminal justice has been very protective of an individual's right to a jury trial. Prior to and since Jefferson's first inaugural address, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, case law, and federal statutes have insisted that juries be drawn fairly and impartially from a cross-section of society, and not be the result of the deliberate inclusion or exclusion of particular individuals or classes. 2

The military system of criminal justice has not been so protective. Although many of the constitutional values espoused by the civilian system of justice are present in the military, they are ...
 
 
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