Tuesday, June 30, 2009

ACCA rejects challenge to providence of drug possession plea

An accused intends to distribute all of his marijuana. He inadvertently leaves a baggie in his pocket after he has distributed the rest. Does his statement during the providence inquiry that he was unaware of his continued possession of the baggie's content invalidate his plea? No, rules ACCA in a published opinion. United States v. Gonzalez, __ M.J. ___, No. ARMY 20080111 (A. Ct. Crim. App. June 26, 2009). Chief Judge Beck wrote for a unanimous panel.

ACCA explains:

A person who knowingly possesses a substance and thereafter misplaces or forgets about it or through inadvertence fails to distribute all of what he intended is nonetheless guilty of knowing possession when that substance is thereafter found within the person's control. Subsequent forgetfulness or negligence in possession does not negate otherwise-knowing possession of a controlled substance under Article 112a.
Id., slip op. at 4.

ACCA recommends a change to the Benchbook to reflect that statement of the law: "We specifically disapprove any implication to the contrary in Dept of the Army Pam. 27-9, Legal Services -- Military Judges' Benchbook, paragraph 3-37-1, note 3 and encourage the drafters to revise the note." Id., slip op. at 4. n.4.

To me, the most surprising thing about the opinion is that "Elisa" is a guy's name.


Anonymous said...

My father was named Elisa!

Ok, not really.

Bill said...

If I were named Elisa I would smoke a lot of dope as well.

Anonymous said...

It will later be reveiled PFC Gonzalez was only dealing in a quest for revenge against his father. A few years from now we will learn that PFC Gonzalez confronts his father and fights him to a draw. The back story is PFC Gonzalez's father named him Elisa as an act of love to ensure he grew to be a strong man.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts exactly. I think Elisa has a brother named Sue.