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NCJ Number: 51822 Find in a Library
Title: TRIAL JUDGE'S DILEMMA - THE TAKING OF GUILTY PLEAS
Journal: COURT REVIEW  Volume:16  Issue:3  Dated:(JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1978)  Pages:4-7
Author(s): D D SCHEPPS
Corporate Author: American Judges Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: American Judges Assoc
Holyoke, MA 01040
Type: Conference Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A PRECISE PROCEDURE FOR HEARING GUILTY PLEAS IS SUGGESTED FOR THE COURT IN ORDER TO REDUCE THE GROUNDS FOR APPEALS WHEN THE PLEA IS DENIED.
Abstract: IT IS REPORTED THAT 50 TO 60 PERCENT OF THE POSTCONVICTION PROCEEDINGS HEARD IN THE FEDERAL AND STATE COURTS COME FROM DEFENDANTS WHO HAVE ENTERED GUILTY PLEAS. THE MAKING AND PRESERVING OF A RECORD, PREFERABLY VERBATIM, OF ALL COURT PROCEEDINGS SURROUNDING THE HEARING OF A NEGOTIATED GUILTY PLEA IS RECOMMENDED. IT IS ADVISED THAT THE RECORD SHOULD CONTAIN A COMPLETE STATEMENT OF THE TERMS OF THE AGREEMENT AND THE JUDGE'S REASONS FOR ACCEPTING OR DENYING THE PLEA. THIS FORMAL PROCEDURE IS BELIEVED NECESSARY BECAUSE THE PLEA DISCUSSIONS THEMSELVES ARE USUALLY INFORMAL AND PRACTICALLY UNREVIEWABLE. WHILE IT IS MAINTAINED THE COURT SHOULD NOT PARTICIPATE IN PLEA NEGOTIATIONS, THE COURT SHOULD INQUIRE AS TO THE EXISTENCE OF A NEGOTIATED AGREEMENT WHENEVER A GUILTY PLEA IS ENTERED, WITH A VIEW TOWARD CAREFULLY SCRUTINIZING THE SUBSTANCE OF THE AGREEMENT. IT IS FURTHER SUGGESTED THAT THE COURT, BEFORE ACCEPTING A GUILTY PLEA, SHOULD REQUIRE THE DEFENDANT TO MAKE A DETAILED STATEMENT REGARDING THE OFFENSE TO WHICH HE IS PLEADING GUILTY. SUCH A STATEMENT WOULD ALSO STIPULATE OTHER OFFENSES OF WHICH THE DEFENDANT HAD BEEN EARLIER CONVICTED. SHOULD THE TRIAL JUDGE NOT ACCEPT THE GUILTY PLEA, THIS STATEMENT AND ANY EVIDENCE OBTAINED THROUGH IT WOULD BE INADMISSIBLE AGAINST THE DEFENDANT IN ANY SUBSEQUENT PROSECUTION. A LIST OF REASONS FOR THE COURT NOT TO ACCEPT A GUILTY PLEA IS PRESENTED. SOME JUDICIAL DECISIONS BEARING ON PLEA NEGOTIATIONS ARE BRIEFLY DISCUSSED, AND IMPROPER INDUCEMENTS COMMUNICATED TO THE DEFENDANT FOR THE PURPOSE OF SECURING A GUILTY PLEA ARE IDENTIFIED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Court records; Plea negotiations; Pleas
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51822

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