United States v. Nance, __ M.J. ___, No. 09-0164/AF (C.A.A.F. June 3, 2009). Unanimous opinion by Judge Ryan affirming the Air Force Court’s ruling for the government.
CAAF holds that the providence inquiry sufficiently supported the appellant’s plea that his use of Coricidin HBP Cough and Cold Medicine was prejudicial to good order and discipline. CAAF also addressed the manner by which providence inquiries are to be conducted. “Although this Court has stressed that the use of leading questions that do no more than elicit ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses during the providence inquiry is disfavored, it has never been the law that a military judge’s use of leading questions automatically results in an improvident plea. Rather, we examine the totality of the circumstances of the providence inquiry, including the stipulation of fact, as well as the relationship between the accused’s responses to leading questions and the full range of the accused’s responses during the plea inquiry.” Id., slip op. at 9-10 (internal citations omitted).