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NCJ Number: 156478 Find in a Library
Title: Delivering Justice to Defendants With Unenforceable Plea Bargains
Journal: Maryland Law Review  Volume:54  Issue:3  Dated:(1995)  Pages:761-775
Author(s): L L Swartz
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 15
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In State v. Parker, the Maryland Court of Appeals misconstrued recent case law and ignored more recent trends in holding that a defendant's plea agreement that promised prison service in a Federal penitentiary was unenforceable because the State sentencing judge lacked the authority to order the prison service of a Maryland sentence in the Federal system.
Abstract: The case involved a murder. Parker entered into a plea bargain providing that if he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, testified against co-conspirators, and pleaded guilty to one unrelated count of Federal bank robbery, the State would recommend that he serve his time in the Federal penitentiary, that the sentence not be more than 20 years, and that it be served concurrently to any Federal sentence resulting form the plea bargain. Parker was paroled after 7 years, taken into custody by the Baltimore County Police Department, and sought release from the balance of his Maryland sentence. Because it would be impossible to return the defendant in Parker to the status quo ante, the court should have provided an effective equivalent of specific performance and vacated the remainder of the defendant's sentence. Such a remedy would have fulfilled the requirement of fairness as well as respected the terms of the plea agreement and preserved the defendant's constitutional rights. Footnotes
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Appellate court decisions; Maryland; Offense characteristics; Plea negotiations
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