Articles Tagged with providency

NMCCA has released a number of decisions.  Several have providency issues and issues not raised by appellate counsel.

United States v. Messias.  The court set-aside a finding of guilty to because of an inadequate providence inquiry.  No sentence relief granted.

While the providence inquiry establishes facts sufficient to demonstrate that the appellant drove on base and that he believed the driving to be wrongful, there are no facts developed which establish either the invalidity of the appellant’s license, if any, or in the alternative, his failure to have a valid license in his possession. We cannot infer either eventuality from this record. We are left with a substantial basis in fact to question this plea and conclude the military judge abused his discretion in accepting this plea on these facts.

Is a false marriage certificate to claim otherwise unauthorized allowances an official document?  No, it would be the presentation of that document as showing an entitlement that is the false statement, not the marriage certificate itself.  The court also found the appellant’s plea to a conspiracy to commit a false official statement as improvident.  The providency issue seems as much related to the military judge’s questioning method, rather than a factual basis.  This was a not untypical plea where the military judge had to help the accused through providency by getting yes / no answers to leading questions.

United States v. McClary.

Here are some stream-of-consciousness thoughts for the defense counsel.

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