This morning the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Bales v. United States, No. 17-1583 (CAAFlog news page).

2 Responses to “Certiorari denied in Bales”

  1. Concerned Defender says:

    1.  Whether the Court of Appeals erred when it held that in a capital case, a prosecutor does not have to disclose exculpatory medical evidence in the government’s possession relating to the accused’s state-of-mind to commit 16 homicides where the United States ordered the accused to take mefloquine, a drug known by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Military to cause long-lasting adverse psychiatric effects, including symptoms of psychosis that may occur years after use.
    2.  Whether the Court of Appeals erred when it held that in a capital case, a prosecutor does not have to disclose mitigating impeachment evidence in the government’s possession that Afghan sentencing witnesses flown into the United States left their fingerprints on bombs and improvised explosive devices, especially where the prosecution held the Afghan witnesses out to the jury as innocent “farmers.” 

    Given there really is no new ground on the malaria drug issue, and that issue was hashed out, at least in some detail, back leading up to and during the trial and knowing and intelligent GUILTY PLEA FOR MURDERING 16 INNOCENT CIVILIANS.  As to this argument,this issue was at least known and kicked around in 2012, and apparently explored at the time.  Doesn’t seem the argument is genuine. 
    The discussion about his sanity is easy to understand and dispense – Did he know it was wrong to do what he was doing?  Clearly, he did.  This is evidenced by his sneaking around and trying to hide and so forth.  Could he intelligently and knowingly participate in his trail and understand the stakes?  Again, the answer is yes.
    As to the second argument, it’s an interesting but easily dispensed with position.  Even assuming that these “innocent farmer” witnesses had left finger prints on bomb making devices, it’s not clear how that alters Bales’ negotiation power, strategy, or sentence.  
    In the end, he deliberately and knowingly walked off the base with weapons, shot and killed a bunch of innocents, massively damaged US relations and cost us a lot of money and probably lives in the GWOT (some of that probably not proper aggravation but still needs saying).
    All the smoke and mirrors aside, Bales was perfectly rationally sane when he committed his criminal murders of 16 innocent people.  He confessed to it and ample folks witnessed the immediate aftermath of he along returning to base with the weapons that matched the ballistics, covered in mud, as the only person not accounted for that night.  He pled guilty to attempt to benefit from a deal, with the advice of several intelligent lawyers, and because he was boxed in with a mountain of unbeatable forensics and witness testimony lined up – including American service members who observed the aftermath.
    As they say, in a courtroom, the most powerful form of evidence is the knowing, intelligent, counsel present and advisement, guilty plea, particularly the painstaking UCMJ providency process that goes thru each crime element step by step in excruciating detail and really few people including the accused would know some specific details.  
    Frivolous.  Dismissing it saved the inevitable result of affirming the conviction, and saved tax payers a mountain of money on this waste of time.

  2. Tami a/k/a Princess says:

    Not a shock.  It was a predictable outcome.