Effect of Pleas

Overview of the effect of pleas:
effect of pleas

  • Plea of not guilty places burden upon government to prove elements of the charges offense(s). A guilty plea relieves government of burden to prove elements of offense(s).
  • By pleading (unconditionally) the accused waives certain things:
    1. Factual issues of guilt. (a) Objections: under RCM 910(j), a plea of guilty that results in a finding of guilty waives any objection, whether or not previously raised, insofar as the objection relates to the factual issue of guilt.
    2. Defects not raised at trial that are neither jurisdictional nor tantamount to a denial of due process.
    3. Motion to suppress confession. M.R.E. 304(d)(5) See United States v. Hinojosa , 33 M.J. 353 (C.M.A. 1991) (guilty plea waived right to contest motion denying suppression of confession).
    4. Speedy Trial. See United States v. Tippit , 65 M.J. 69 (C.A.A.F. 2007)
      1. Speedy trial rights provided under the 6th Amendment and RCM 707 are waived. RCM 707(e)
      2. Article 10 challenges not waived at trial are waived.
      3. Properly litigated Article 10 challenges are not waived.

      Trial counsel disqualification. See United States v. Bradley , 68 M.J. 279 (C.A.A.F. 2010)

  • No Waiver. The following issues are not waived by an unconditional guilty plea:
    1. Unlawful command influence. United States v. Johnston , 39 M.J. 242 (C.M.A. 1994).
    2. Jurisdiction. United States v. Coffey , 38 M.J. 290 (C.M.A. 1993)
    3. Ineffective assistance of counsel.
    4. Properly litigated Article 10 motion. United States v. Mizgala , 61 M.J. 122 (C.A.A.F. 2005).
      1. United States. V. Mizgala , 61 M.J. 122 (C.A.A.F. 2005) (“A fundamental, substantial, personal right… should not be diminished by applying ordinary rules of waiver and forfeiture associated with guilty pleas.”)

      Multiplicious charging.

      1. An unconditional guilty plea, ordinarily, waives multiplicity issues, unless those issues constitute plain error. United States v. Rhine , 67 M.J. 646 (A.F.Ct.Crim.App. 2009) (citing United States v. Powell , 49 M.J. 460, 464-65 (C.A.A.F. 1998).

      Statute of limitations.

      1. Accused can, though, on the record, voluntarily and expressly waive the statute of limitations as a bar to trial. United States v. Province , 42 M.J. 821 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. 1996).

      Selective prosecution- not waived in situations in which facts necessary to make the claim were not fully developed at the time of plea. United States v. Henry , 42 M.J. 231 (C.A.A.F. 1995).

Factual issues of guilt.

Defects not raised