The Austin American-Statesman reports, here, that the MAJ Nidal Hasan trial will begin at Ft. Hood on May 29, 2013.  After four weeks of voir dire and panel selection, “testimony” is scheduled to begin July 1, 2013. So I assume opening arguments are the last week of June.

More Manning coverage including a detailed article from the NYT, here, that also investigated the voicemail PFC Manning stated he left for the NYT. The NYT also notes, contrary to some early reports, that Manning stated in the providence inquiry that he was turned off by the WaPo because they said they would have to review the material before committing to publish it. Call me old fashioned, but that changes my opinion of Manning’s confessed motives. CNET coverage (which is always a little different) here.

Okinawa rape trials sentence former sailors to 10 and 9 year sentences. See AP (via YahooNews) report here.

13 Responses to “Military Justice News for Mar. 1, 2013”

  1. soonergrunt says:

    ” The NYT also notes, contrary to some early reports, that Manning stated in the providence inquiry that he was turned off by the WaPo because they said they would have to review the material before committing to publish it.”
    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again–it seems to me that his motivation for doing this was very similar to the motivations I’ve seen before when Privates do dumb shit.  It wasn’t about anything other than causing damage to an institution that didn’t appreciate just how smart and special he was.  In the chat logs with Lamo, his comments are dripping with contempt for his peers, his seniors, and the Army itself.  He didn’t want to bring injustice to light anywhere near as much as he simply wanted to hurt the Army and his unit.

  2. Bill C says:

    What he said.

  3. soonergrunt says:

    The Tech News site The Virge has pretty balanced and even coverage of the Manning plea hearing, and written to a level that non-legal people can understand it.

  4. Phil Cave says:

    Courtesy of a British newspaper.
    Here is the text of Mannings “statement” in support of the providence inquiry.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/01/bradley-manning-wikileaks-statement-full-text

  5. Phil Cave says:

    Courtesy of a British newspaper.
    Here is the text of Mannings “statement” in support of the providence inquiry.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/01/bradley-manning-wikileaks-statement-full-text

  6. soonergrunt says:

    Phil–or anybody, really–
    Is an Alford plea or a Nolo Contrendre plea available under the UCMJ?  Because if it was, why wouldn’t he have gone for that?
    I can understand why the Trial Counsel might object (if possible.)  You’d want the accused to fully allocute and to go through a providence inquiry to foreclose possible appeals, but is it possible under UCMJ?  And what’s the difference between a providence inquiry and a Care inquiry (if any?)  I assume the Care inquiry is named after a legal case, but I was wrong once, and may be again sometime.
    Thanks!

  7. Dwight Sullivan says:

    Sooner Grunt, no Alford or nolo pleas in the military.  Before the military judge can accept a plea, the accused must explain why he or she is factually guilty of the offense.  Under United States v. Care (right you are!), if the accused doesn’t provide an adequate factual basis to establish actual guilt, the military judge must enter a plea of not guilty on the accused’s behalf.

  8. Phil Cave says:

    SG,
    When doing a guilty plea my goal is to have the client say as little as possible.  That’s because anything said during the providence inquiry (Care) including in his “letter” can be considered as evidence on sentencing.  I think Mike “Quixote” Navarre, has it when he questions the motivation of Manning.  I have some thoughts on the speech, but I’ll give that to you off-line.

  9. Phil Cave says:

    SG,
    When doing a guilty plea my goal is to have the client say as little as possible.  That’s because anything said during the providence inquiry (Care) including in his “letter” can be considered as evidence on sentencing.  I think Mike “Quixote” Navarre, has it when he questions the motivation of Manning.  I have some thoughts on the speech, but I’ll give that to you off-line.

  10. Phil Cave says:

    SG
    Far be it for me to criticize Dwight “My Liege” Sullivan.
    But there are Alford pleas in the military.  Often as an alternative to Sousa.
    http://www.militarymusic.com/international-the-music-of-kenneth-alford-p-4948.html

  11. rob klant says:

    While there is no Alford or nolo contendere plea, there is a “Davis” plea which might be viewed as a functional equivalent (See U.S. v. Davis, 50 MJ 426:  pleading “not guilty”, but entering into a confessional stipulation admitting certain facts which may go so far as to admit the essential elements of an offense).
    Apart from whatever benefits might be derived from the “not guilty” plea or bargained for in exchange for the confessional stipulation, a Davis plea also has the advantage of being subject only to a Bertelson inquiry, which (going to Mr. Cave’s point, above) is much less probing than a Care inquiry.
    While it’s true the prosecution would have to agree to enter into the stipulation (with or without a pretrial agreement), I suspect in a case like this the prosecution would seriously consider such an offer and maybe even throw in some material consideration on charges/sentencing to boot. 

  12. Dwight Sullivan says:

    Rob, of course, Manning wouldn’t have been able to go the confessional stipulation route NOW.  I presume that the defense made a tactical decision to get ahead of the government by pleading guilty and making a public statement of what he acknowledges doing.  If they went the confessional stipulation route, that would have been done only at the conclusion of the prosecution’s case on the merits.  It also wouldn’t allow the “I pled guilty to what I did and not guilty to what I didn’t do” spin in the p.r. campaign.  Finally, it wouldn’t automatically entitle the defense to the mitigating aspect of a guilty plea. 

  13. rob klant says:

    Agreed.  I’d think the defense would only consider a Davis plea in cases where they might otherwise enter an Alford plea, if it were available.   Because the accused is subject to a lesser burden of convincing a judge to accept a confessional stipulation than a guilty plea, though, I suppose a Davis plea might also be helpful whenever there is a concern that an accused might not make it through a full-blown Care inquiry, for whatever reasons.