Mailing It In

Every now and then, someone wants me to review their trial record for any issues that might be useful on appeal or clemency. I’m, of course, happy to oblige.

Occasionally, however, they make me really sad.

The latest tale of the tape:


Terms of the Deal

In an agreed plea bargain:

Soldier agreed to plead guilty to all charges. He also provided the government with a written stipulation of fact to substantiate each element of the offenses.

Government agreed to give nothing in return. No, really. Nothing.

Objections on Record

Government: 0

Defense: 0

Witnesses for Sentencing (Life and/or Telephonic)

Government: 0

Defense: 0

Matters in Aggravation

Government argued that the charges alone were aggravation enough for a max sentence. (No defense objection, even if to merely call-out the flawed logic.)

Matters in Extenuation or Mitigation

Defense gave an extremely brief closing, stating that second chances are important.


Some assigned military defense counsel are exceptionally capable and dedicated. Some are anything but dedicated and capable.

This is a prime example of the latter. The young Captain representing this kid didn’t just mail-it-in, he was too lazy to even walk to the mailbox.

Sad. Really sad.


3 thoughts on “Mailing It In

  1. It really is sad, but these things don’t happen in a vacuum. I’ll be the first to admit that I know little about the workings of the defense counsel’s office, but I do know a little about Soldiers.

    Soldiers, even Captains, do what’s they’re made to do. If the Captain is tossing it towards the mailbox, there’s got a be a Major or Colonel letting it happen.

    Shameful may be a more apt description.

    • With small-time cases (this was one), military defense counsel are generally allowed to proceed without much oversight. However, you are correct, somebody should have exercised a bit of quality control. Though, if they did, it makes the scene even worse.

      From what I can see, the judge was the highest-ranking person who supervised the case, and he was probably happy to have such a smooth and seamless proceeding.

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