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    Leading the charge for change!

Welcome to the Innocent Heroes Movement

U.S. Military Justice

 

The Innocent Heroes Movement is a three-prong effort designed to bring a well-needed change within the United States Military Justice System! Brown Ribbon's  Innocent Innocent Heroes campaign supports Heroes' Accused of crimes,  Heroes unjustly convicted, and those Confined. Also, we help previously convicted heroes with clearing their names. 

 

No one speaks for our heroes better than you! Join the Innocent Heroes movement and help protect those who protect us.  

History

 

Military justice, initially designed to prosecute and convict war crimes. The government separated war crimes from civilian crimes; therefore, the rule of evidence differed, which meant that no clear evidence was needed to convict in the military system. Both Judicial and non-judicial punishments are ultimately left to the opinion of the commander, who typically only converses with the prosecutor during court-martial proceedings, allowing the prosecutor’s influence to stand alone, leaving the accused soldier at an unfair advantage.  

 

As the military progressed into a more professional organization, it has taken on a much broader role, from murder to theft to sexual assault. However, the rule of evidence has not been adjusted for these types of crimes, resulting in an abnormally large conviction rate. 

U.S. Military Justice

 

At first glance, the United States Military Justice System appears to be a steadfast, no-nonsense entity, which holds service members to a much higher legal standard than its' civilian counterpart. For the most part, this is true, although incomplete. Hidden beneath the walls of several military confinement facilities lies the truth about the United States Military Justice System. Servicemembers, convicted with no physical evidence, by a service they have dedicated their lives. Some call this justice; we call it unacceptable!

U.S. Military Trials

 

Most Americans are unaware that the military justice system and trial procedures significantly differ from the civilian court system. The military has the countries most inexperienced attorneys yet still manages a conviction rate of approximately 98%.  The rule of evidence in the military does not require proof of a crime. Prosecutors need only show the possibility the accused committed the crime and convince a witness to testify to convict. The old saying that in the military, you are guilty until proven innocent, is the primary reason for such a high conviction rate.

U.S Military Convictions

 

The President of the United States determines law within the military. After all, he is ultimately responsible for the welfare of soldiers. How can a democratic legal system exist when one man sets the bar?  Military Judges are appointed, not elected, which means they are not only bounded by laws set by the President; they are influenced by general officers who not only outrank them but oversee every trial. There is no question that military Judges are under pressure to convict, which also plays a factor in the conviction process. 

Time for a change

There is no other department in this country with a separate justice system. Why is the military allowed to do so?


We now have a system that prosecutes based on prehistoric war crime standards. Besides, the military can reopen a previously settled civilian case and place a soldier on trial, even after a civilian court has acquitted them.  


The United States military should forfeit jurisdiction of all non-military crimes to the civilian court system. 


Prosecutors should not be allowed to "Stack charges" against a defendant, meaning that each defendant should receive one charge per crime. 

Platform...

Our mission

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Innocent Heroes Movement

 

In a hidden and unfair justice system, The innocent heroes movement rallies, working tirelessly to free Innocent Heroes. We do this with the support of an extensive network, which we refer to as our voice. With the administrative and financial support of Brown Ribbon and its partners, we march for legal change that will bring about fairness for those who serve.  Our fantastic network sheds light on an unfair, impractical injustice system. 

 

The Innocent Heroes Movement, with the support of Brown Ribbon and its partners, will use every tool available to establish the truth about the nature of a justice system that is both outdated as well as unorthodox. With media, social media, celebrity, and political input, Innocent Heroes will lead the charge for change. We work tirelessly to free Innocent Heroes and to support those dealing with the effects of this system. Join the cause for justice!

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Accused Heroes Support

 

Our Heroes are accused, tried, and convicted in a legal system that hides its deficiencies behind the image of a "Higher Standard." They are isolated, kept ignorant until the last possible minute, given overworked representation, resulting in mistakes that military investigators and prosecutors use to their advantage. The stress of investigation and the fear of the unknown in most cases are overwhelming.

 

The Accused Heroes Support Group provides online counseling, assistance allowing service members to understand the process and someone to talk to during this challenging time. Also, the Brown Ribbon Resource platform offers additional support for our Heroes who need it. Accused Heroes deserve our help to ensure fair and humane treatment, the right of all accused, and the responsibility of all who poses true justice. 

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Confined Heroes Campaign

 

Unfortunately, not all heroes are innocent of their crimes, yet they are still heroes and deserve our full support! The pressures of military service can sometimes be overwhelming. The loss of countless family hours and extended deployments can create unseen trauma that could manifest as acts that are not just. However, we believe that most require intervention instead of abusive punishment.

 

The Confined Heroes Foundation works to create a more suitable environment for our convicted heroes. That said, if the military holds servicemember to a higher standard, they must have military confinement facilities to a higher standard as well. Everything from telephones to mental health support to re-integration training, there are many ways to increase the standards of the Military confinement facilities and establish an effective re-entry program. 

Innocent Heroes...

Innocent Heroes

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Accusations

 

The military policy on accusations leaves commanders with the burden of deciding to prosecute servicemember or not. Military commanders can again be required to conduct a "Commander's Inquiry" to determine if the accusation requires an investigation; this allows both parties the opportunity to speak before an overzealous prosecutor changes the narrative of the situation. However, over the past fifteen years, political pressure for the military to clean up certain reported crimes has left commanders reluctant to risk their careers on an inquiry. It is safer for the commander to go directly to the investigation process, which relieves the commander of any responsibility and places a case in investigators and prosecutors' hands. While this may serve the commander well, it puts the servicemember in an unwinnable situation. Accused heroes often feel that the investigation process is the most stressful.

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Rule of Evidence

 

The most frustrating part of the military justice system is the Rule of Evidence. Unlike the civilian court system, the military does not have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution needs only show the possibility and have a witness who is willing to testify, opening a door for prosecutors to convict those who may not be guilty. Military prosecutors are the most inexperienced in the world as most of them are recruited directly from law school. Most use the military to pay for their education and gain experience in preparation for a civilian career. It is no doubt that a significant conviction rate will enhance their resume; the military justice system provides all they need. The problematic portion of this is that many are so focused on gaining knowledge that they will prosecute any case, regardless of the evidence. The military rule of evidence allows for an extremely abnormal success rate, providing a nice ancillary benefit for the inexperienced prosecutor. However, it does not fare well for the accused servicemember.

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Conviction tactics

 

To secure a conviction and build a solid resume, military prosecutors often resort to extortion tactics. How? Well, it is simple. They overload charges to paint a menacing picture. For example: if a prosecutor accuses a service member of pushing another soldier, the prosecutor will charge the soldier with 'Pushing, assault with the intent to maim, failure to follow orders, disrespect to a non-commissioned officer,' failure to obey regulations, and any other charge they could find to place on the ballot. From there, they calculate the sentence for each charge, which could end up being a maximum sentence of twelve years. From there, they take the isolated servicemember who they have left, ignored what is happening, and offer them a plea. If you plead guilty to pushing and assault, we will drop all other charges. If not, we will charge you with all, and if convicted, you could get twelve years. Remember, nearly all military members have clean criminal records and have never faced a prosecutor, judge, or jury. What you think a frightened, isolated servicemember with an overworked TDS attorney will do? 

Accused Heroes...

Accused Heroes

We are here

when you need us!

There are answers to your questions! Sometimes, the best answers come from those who have lived your experience. 

The stress of an investigation is the worst!

The Investigation

 

The investigation process can be the most stressful time for service members. The service member and/or his or her attorney are given very little information during this period. Even the charges that the servicemember is to face are kept secret until the referral process. There is no doubt that this gives prosecutors an unfair advantage and no doubt that this is intentional.  

 

The command is either unwilling or unable to provide any information to the service member leaving the accused at a complete disadvantage

 

There is no one intended to discover the truth, only to create it. 

 

Read more 

TDS attorney

 

While diligent and, in most cases, experienced, trial defense attorneys cannot provide necessary guidance to servicemembers for many reasons. First, most are reluctant to tell a soldier what to do; therefore, listing the options and telling the servicemember to pick one is safe to prevent them from being responsible for any dissatisfied portion of the defense. The slogan "I can not advise you!' has become an epidemic with TDS attorneys. Secondly, most TDS attorneys are overworked. The caseloads can range from 10 to 25 cases for a single attorney, making a good defense nearly impossible and creates a push for a plea deal by most TDS attorneys, which only increases the military's conviction rates.  

 

Read more 

Referal of Charges 

 

Following official changes, there are a series of following step items that must take place. The servicemember continues isolation from his/her unit, loss of security clearance if applicable), which could often lead to loss of position and sometimes a transfer to what some refer to as more demining positions. The “gut punch,” as we will call it. Opinions are now tainted, and the pretrial onslaught begins. Unaware of the true nature, most peers, subordinates, and leaders believe that there must be guilty if the process has gone this far. The tactic is unfair, yet legal play for the prosecution, as the guilty until proven innocent rumor is now a reality for the servicemember.

 

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Awaiting Trial

 

Awaiting trial is a continuation of stress. In most cases, the Trial Defense attorney assigned to the case is overworked and can not allocate the time need to mount a suitable offense. Sometimes, the search for a plea deal becomes a priority as some TDAs need to "Get files from the desk." fair?   

 

Read more    

Post Trial

 

There are few times when Service members are convicted, yet sentenced to no jail time, or returned to duty after a short confinement period. In theory, this should be the end of the Service member's challenges. Yet, that is far from the truth. It is just the beginning of struggles to come.

Admin Separation

 

Commanders, having service members who have been returned to duty by a military judge, now have the option to do what the Military Judge did not! Separate the service member from the service. Most commanders have already labeled a soldier guilty, and while he/she has decided not to make a commander's inquiry,  

Admin Separation

 

they believe that the soldier was convicted lawfully or pled guilty because they somehow found a moral streak and want to do what is right. Most will never know the actual reason behind the conviction or the plea; therefore, they believe that separation is warranted, and the military allows for this double jeopardy in some cases.

 

 

Admin Separation

 

An administrative separation for those with more that 18 years of service has to be approved by the Sercretary of the service, and under certain curcunstances. A commander must prove that there was a failed attempt at reabilitation or that retaining the servicemenber sothe n attempt to rehabilitate and that retention would be a danger to others, or detrimental to the service. 

 

Those with less than 18 years of service are at the dicression of the commanding General/Admiral. For cases that are criminal in nature, meaning the actual charge stated "criminal" in the prefix, it is almost certain that the command will attemt dischanrge. 

Confined Heroes...

Confined Heroes

Not all Heroes are innocent of their crimes

Initial Conviction

 

Contrary to popular belief, most service members find this to be the least stressful time. There is finally an answer to the looming question of what will happen. However, for those convicted, an entirely new chapter of unfair practice begins. 

Setteling in


Some confinement institutions pride them selves on abuse and feel that it is their duty to ensure that you feel as low as humanly possible. 

Adapting

 

Contrary to popular belief, most servicemembers find this to be the least stressful time. There is finally an answer to the looming question of what will happen. However, for those convicted, an entirely new chapter of unfair practice begins. 

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"Liberty is the combination of equaity and change. Only thoes willing to allow change are truly free."

---Lavance E. Payne


“If you seek truth and justice, you will find them in abundance. If you seek guilt, you will find that in abundance as well.  

 

The true key to finding euality for all is finding a way for all to seek it."

 

Lavance E. Payne

Founder/CEO

Brown Ribbon, Inc.

Estimated Confinement by Branch

ARMY


9859

 

8526 Innocent Soldier

NAVY/CG


8732

 

7221 Innocent Sailors

AIRFORCE


1143

 

825 Innocent Airmen

MARINES


2197

 

2001 Innocent Marines