Inquiry into the Stipulation of Fact

Overview of the inquiry into the stipulation of fact:

  1. The military judge must conduct an inquiry into the stipulation of fact (if there is one) to ensure that the accused understands the stipulation of fact and has agreed to its contents knowingly and voluntarily.
  2. Stipulations of fact and polygraphs. United States v. Clark, 53 M.J. 280 (C.A.A.F. 2000). Accused submitted a false claim, then took a polygraph (which he failed). He was charged and elected to plead guilty. Accused and convening authority agreed to PTA which included a promise to enter into a “reasonable stipulations concerning the facts and circumstances” of his case. MJ at trial noticed the polygraph in the stipulation, noted that accused had agreed to take a polygraph test and that the “test results revealed deception.” There was no objection to the stipulation and he admitted the stipulation into evidence. Applying M.R.E. 707 and United States v. Glazier, 26 M.J. 268, 270 (C.M.A. 1988), CAAF held it was plain error for military judge to admit the evidence of the polygraph, even via a stipulation.

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