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View Diary: Bradley Manning Offers Guilty Plea (13 comments)

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  •  Not exactly pleading guilty, but he is (10+ / 0-)

    pleading guilty to a "subset of offenses", according to his defence counsel, David Coombs:

    PFC Manning's Offered Plea and Forum Selection
    PFC Manning has offered to plead guilty to various offenses through a process known as "pleading by exceptions and substitutions."  To clarify, PFC Manning is not pleading guilty to the specifications as charged by the Government.  Rather, PFC Manning is attempting to accept responsibility for offenses that are encapsulated within, or are a subset of, the charged offenses.  The Court will consider whether this is a permissible plea.

    PFC Manning is not submitting a plea as part of an agreement or deal with the Government.  Further, the Government does not need to agree to PFC Manning's plea; the Court simply has to determine that the plea is legally permissible.  If the Court allows PFC Manning to plead guilty by exceptions and substitutions, the Government may still elect to prove up the charged offenses. Pleading by exceptions and substitutions, in other words, does not change the offenses with which PFC Manning has been charged and for which he is scheduled to stand trial.

    PFC Manning has also provided notice of his forum selection.  He has elected to be tried by Military Judge alone.

    Colonel Denise Lind, the judge he has elected to hear his case, is set to consider the plea at a special hearing on December 10, unless Manning withdraws his offer.

    "When the powerless are shut out of the media, we will make the media irrelevant" ~♥~ Anonymous ~♥~

    by Lisa Lockwood on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:40:18 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Lisa - thanks for the additional detail (4+ / 0-)

      it is very helpful. I think Bradley and counsel are smart to have a judge only court martial.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:07:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're welcome (5+ / 0-)

        I've been following Manning's story because I care so much about Wikileaks and transparency. Prosecuting whistleblowers is so wrong, it just goes against every thing I believe in. When governments do wrong, it needs to be exposed so that similar actions don't keep happening. Covering up war crimes just makes government a criminal enterprise rather than an entity accountable to the people who put it's leadership into power.
        "Not in my name" has to mean something.

        "When the powerless are shut out of the media, we will make the media irrelevant" ~♥~ Anonymous ~♥~

        by Lisa Lockwood on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:16:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  PS. Manning is NOT pleading guilty (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III, raincrow

      to the most serious charge, that of aiding the enemy, which carries the possibility for the death penalty, although prosecutors have said they will not seek it. Life in prison is the most the government has said it will ask for.

      Of particular significance:

      What is clear that this is an important step in the legal process, as Manning has for the first time attached his own name to the WikiLeaks dump. The website, in association with international newspapers including the Guardian, published hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables from US embassies around the world as well as warlogs from Iraq and Afghanistan and video footage of US military actions that caused civilian deaths.
      According to the expanded story on Wired Threat Level,
      Manning’s attorney likely made the move in an effort to obtain a cap on sentencing that would hold even if he’s found guilty of the more serious charges to which he doesn’t plead guilty now, says Lisa Windsor, a retired Army colonel and former JAG officer now practicing military law with the New York law firm of Tully Rinckey. Manning currently faces life in prison if convicted of all the charges. The most serious charge — aiding the enemy — carries a possible death penalty. Prosecutors have already said they will not seek the death penalty, however.

      “Pleading guilty is conceding that the government is able to prove these charges,” Windsor says, “and he doesn’t believe the government is able to prove the more serious charges of aiding the enemy.”

      Manning’s attorney may also be hoping that the government will simply drop the more serious charges once he offers to plead guilty to the lesser included ones.

      "When the powerless are shut out of the media, we will make the media irrelevant" ~♥~ Anonymous ~♥~

      by Lisa Lockwood on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:10:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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