Comments: News Item

liberals have nothing to worry about: arraignment is the first step, not the last step, in criminal proceedings. any defendant's plea of guilty has to be accepted by the court in order to be entered and then have a sentence handed down. the judge declined the guilty plea, so all it means is that now a plea of not guilty will be entered and a preliminary hearing will be held to determine if england should stand charges.

basically, when a judge rejects a guilty plea, it is because the judge has reasonable doubt. but that also means that the defendant then must go through all steps of criminal proceedings, usually resulting in a trial, whether before a jury or just a judge (lynndie england would probably be smart to waive her right to a jury.)

in any case, IANAL ... yet.

Posted by LilB at May 4, 2005 04:12 PM

In addition to LilB's legal insights...it's also worth noting that this is all being done through the Military's legal system. Therefore, everything follows UCMJ rules/procedures.
(as opposed to regular criminal law procedures).

Posted by jaws at May 4, 2005 08:10 PM

And for those who care to edify themselves on the differences, the UCMJ is here: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/10/subtitles/a/parts/ii/chapters/47/toc.html

And the Manual for Courts Martial is here:
http://www.jag.navy.mil/documents/mcm2000.pdf

Posted by Dave J at May 4, 2005 09:03 PM
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