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
Witnesses for Sentencing (Life and/or Telephonic)
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.