Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New CAAF grant

I understand that CAAF granted review today in a Navy-Marine Corps case concerning the proper standard of review for challenges to the providence of a plea. With luck it will be on the tomorrow's daily journal update and we can examine it in greater depth. Can any naval appellate counsel out there give us any more gouge?


Anonymous said...

I'm long since gone from appellate practice, but if I remember correctly there is a conflict in the law regarding the proper standard for appellate review of a military judge's acceptance of a guilty plea. There is one line of cases that says NMCCA reviews for abuse of discretion. There is another that says review is de novo. I tend to think the latter makes more sense--if the Court is required to be convinced of the appellant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, why should they afford any deference to the military judge's decision to accept a guilty plea?

Anonymous said...

No, this conflict does not logically or legally arise from the fundamental issue of the "reasonable doubt" standard. Neither a (military) judge nor an appellate court needs to be convinced of a defendant's guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt." The "substantial basis in law and fact" to support the guilty plea is the applicable lower standard. Current law, both military and civilian, is silent on whether the reasonable doubt standard applies to guilty pleas or should apply. But the deafening silence and multiple examples of dubious pleas being accepted implies that the "reasonable doubt" standard does not apply.

Anonymous said...

How does the "substantial basis in law and fact" standard jibe with the "correct in law and fact" standard of Art. 66?