On 5 June, CAAF granted review of two issues in United States v. White, 65 M.J. 276 (C.A.A.F. 2007), and ordered briefs. The two issues were:

WHETHER THE MILITARY JUDGE ERRED BY ACCEPTING APPELLANT’S PLEA TO UNPREMEDITATED MURDER UNDER ARTICLE 118(3), UCMJ, WHERE EVIDENCE WAS INTRODUCED BY BOTH APPELLANT AND AN EXPERT THAT, AT THE TIME OF THE OFFENSE, APPELLANT DID NOT KNOW THAT HIS ACTIONS WOULD CAUSE BODILY HARM OR DEATH.

WHETHER APPELLANT WAS DENIED THE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL WHERE HIS COUNSEL ADVISED HIM TO PLEAD GUILTY, IMPROVIDENTLY AND AGAINST HIS WISHES.

In today’s daily journal update, CAAF summarily said “no” and “no.” Well, actually CAAF said, “On further consideration of the granted issues, 65 M.J. 276 (C.A.A.F. 2007), it is ordered that the decision of the United States Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals is affirmed.” United States v. White, __ M.J. ___, No. 07-0067/MC (C.A.A.F. Sept. 10, 2007).

The lower court’s opinion, which addresses both of the granted issues as well as granting relief for illegal pretrial punishment, is available here. United States v. White, No. NMCCA 200200803 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. Aug. 31, 2006).

Can anyone from NAMARA tell us (or theorize about) what happened?

2 Responses to “CAAF issues summary disposition”

  1. Anonymous says:

    This was a pretty ugly shaken baby case where the appellant squeezed the baby’s head and slapped the kid around. I think that the judges just didn’t buy the idea that the appellant didn’t realize that squeezing the baby’s head could result in serious injury.

  2. egn says:

    Yet if you read the expert’s testimony on sentencing, he’s quite unequivocal in his assessment that the appellant did not have the mental ability to grasp that what he did would cause serious injury or death. Upon reopening the plea inquiry, the disjointed colloquy between the appellant and the military judge is quite consistent with the appellant’s subsequent assertions that he was simply parroting the prompting of his civilian defense counsel.

    So the question remains in my mind, what was in the briefs that convinced the judges at CAAF that despite all this, the appellant was guilty?