Discussion of pleading procedure in general:
After the accused is arraigned under RCM 904, the military judge will call on accused and counsel to enter a plea. If the accused pleads guilty to any offense, the military judge will follow this procedure to ensure the plea is voluntary and accurate. An accused must admit his own guilt in court (RCM 910(d)-(e)). Alford pleas or nolo contendere pleas are not allowed. RCM 910. Pleas . . . . (d) Ensuring that the plea is voluntary. The military judge shall not accept a plea of guilty without first, by addressing the accused personally, determining that the plea is voluntary and not the result of force or threats or of promises apart from a plea agreement under R.C.M. 705. The military judge shall also inquire whether the accused’s willingness to plead guilty results from prior discussions between the convening authority, a representative of the convening authority, or trial counsel, and the accused or defense counsel. (e) Determining accuracy of plea. The military judge shall not accept a plea of guilty without making such inquiry of the accused as shall satisfy the military judge that there is a factual basis for the plea. The accused shall be questioned under oath about the offenses.
- The origin and purpose of the providence ( Care ) inquiry.
- “The record must reflect not only that the elements of each offense charge have been explained to the accused, but also that the military trial judge or the president has questioned the accused about what he did or did not do, and what he intended (where this is pertinent) to make clear the basis for a determination by the military trial judge or president whether the acts or the omissions of the accused constitute the offense or offenses to which he is pleading guilty.” United States v. Care , 40
- M.R. 247, 253 (C.M.A. 1969).