Effect of Pleas
Overview of the 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:
- 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.
- Defects not raised at trial that are neither jurisdictional nor tantamount to a denial of due process.
- 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).
- Speedy Trial. See United States v. Tippit , 65 M.J. 69 (C.A.A.F. 2007)
- Speedy trial rights provided under the 6th Amendment and RCM 707 are waived. RCM 707(e)
- Article 10 challenges not waived at trial are waived.
- 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:
- Unlawful command influence. United States v. Johnston , 39 M.J. 242 (C.M.A. 1994).
- Jurisdiction. United States v. Coffey , 38 M.J. 290 (C.M.A. 1993)
- Ineffective assistance of counsel.
- Properly litigated Article 10 motion. United States v. Mizgala , 61 M.J. 122 (C.A.A.F. 2005).
- 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.”)
- 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.
- 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).