General Question

flo's avatar

How would Bradley Manning say he did it but he is not "guilty"?

Asked by flo (10481points) December 3rd, 2012

I brought up Bradley Manning’s case just an example.
Isn’t there a word that matches “Yes I did it”, and “No, I didn’t do it” instead of “guitly” and “not guilty” plea?
What I mean is, if he wants to send the world, right from the get go, “I regret what I did, it was morally reprehensible thing to do” message, the “guilty” plea would be fine. But if he is claming what he did is a principled, the right thing to do, then his “not guitly” could end up sounding like “it is not me who did it I was framed” or something similar.

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13 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Who is Bradley Manning and what is he accused of? LInk? Info?

There is the technical plea of Nolo contendere.

Nolo contendere is a legal term that comes from the Latin for “I do not wish to contend.” It is also referred to as a plea of no contest. In criminal trials in certain U.S. jurisdictions, it is a plea where the defendant neither admits nor disputes a charge, serving as an alternative to a pleading of guilty or not guilty. A no-contest plea, while not technically a guilty plea, has the same immediate effect as a guilty plea, and is often offered as a part of a plea bargain.

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zenvelo's avatar

@gailcalled Bradley Manning is the soldier who gave Wikileaks a lot of classified documents.

Pleading Not Guilty to the charge is different from saying “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

WestRiverrat's avatar

In the US there is jury nullification, which means the jury can find someone who did commit and confess to murder (or any other offense) not guilty due to mitigating circumstances.

CWOTUS's avatar

His attorneys will probably attempt to establish an acquittal based upon a “not guilty” defense. The plea covers both eventualities of “I didn’t do the awful thing” and “I did the thing, but it was a good thing to do.”

What will probably happen is that he will – more than likely – be convicted of the charge, and at sentencing he will have his chance to say “What I did was a morally good thing.” It’s debatable whether his attorneys will want him to speak then, because it’s likely that in a military court he could get the harshest sentence possible based on that assertion.

filmfann's avatar

I am reminded of Nathan Burns, who shot his ex-girlfriend while she worked as a bridge toll-taker, and her new boyfriend.
He didn’t plead guilty. He simply told the jury that he did it, that he was proud he did it, and that she had it coming.

flo's avatar

But my question is why not just ask “did you do this thing that the prosecution and society assert is an an awful thing”? And save the “do you feel guilty, do you regret it?” etc. for he/she is on the stand?

flo's avatar

What do you all get when you click on “activity for you’’? This OP doesn’t appear in the list at all

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filmfann's avatar

It will only appear when someone has commented.

josie's avatar

The legal question is simply guilty of the crime or not. In civilian courts there may be allowances for mitigating circumstances, although from what I understand he really has none other than he is a really unhappy guy.
He made his point by not entering any plea at all. He is accused of a capital crime in the military justice system. He is lucky the prosecution is not seeking the death penalty.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Bradley Manning exposed the actions of the military when they attacked civilians in Iraq. The military personnel were flying in a helicopter & they began shooting at a group of civilians. They killed these people & then they killed the people who tried to help these people + they killed two children. This was all over the news after it was released to Wikileaks. A couple of the people killed were war correspondents / reporters. Personally, I think that Bradley Manning was charged because the military wanted to cover-up the crime that had been committed. You can hear the military personnel talking on the helicopter & laughing about the killing of the civilians. I think Bradley Manning was a Whistle-Blower who was willing to expose what he saw being done in the ‘name’ of warfare.

flo's avatar

Yes @Linda_Owl you summerized it well. But I don’t think they were thinking of can covering up anything since it was exposed. Maybe the military wanted to make an example of him as a deterrance.

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