UCMJ – United States Code of Military Justice

845. ARTICLE 45. Pleas of the accused

07. Trial Procedure

(a) If an accused after arraignment makes an irregular pleading, or after a plea of guilty sets up matter inconsistent with the plea, or if it appears that he has entered the plea of guilty improvidently or through lack of understanding of its meaning and effect, or if he fails or refuses to plead, a plea of not guilty shall be entered in the record, and the court shall proceed as though he had pleaded not guilty.

(b) A plea of guilty by the accused may not be received to any charge or specification alleging an offense for which the death penalty may be adjudged. With respect to any other charge or specification to which a plea of guilty has been made by the accused and accepted by the military judge or by a court-martial without a military judge, a finding of guilty of the charge or specification may, if permitted by regulations of the Secretary concerned, be entered immediately without vote. This finding shall constitute the finding of the court unless the plea of guilty is withdrawn prior to announcement of the sentence, in which event the proceedings shall continue as though the accused had pleaded not guilty.


1 Comment for this entry

  • Jacob Fournier

    Section (b) which states ” A plea of guilty by the accused may not be received to any charge or specification alleging an offense for which the death penalty may be adjudged.” is a farce and should be amended. The ability of an individual to admit responsibility to a death penalty worthy offense should be undeniable. If the accused admits to a serious crime and is willing to leave his punishment to the mercy of the court, why not grant him and the victims this right.

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