Military sexual assault proposal criticized

Stripping military commanders of the authority to prosecute serious crimes such as rape and sexual assault could make it worse for victims. That's the essence of a letter that 11 members of the Senate Armed Services Committee sent to colleagues Monday rejecting the solution offered by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. She has the public support of nearly half the Senate for removing commanders from deciding whether serious crimes go to trial and giving that authority to seasoned trial lawyers who have prosecutorial experience and hold the rank of colonel or higher.