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January 3, 2006

Notable Ninth Circuit decision finding plea invalid

Over a sharp dissent by Judge Kleinfeld, a Ninth Circuit panel today in US v. Adams, No. 04-30339 (DC Cir. Jan. 3, 2006) (available here), vacates a defendant's guilty plea "because we conclude that it was not knowing, voluntary and intelligent in light of the district court's failure to inform [the defendant] that he was subject to a mandatory fine under the Sentencing Guidelines."  Judge Kleinfeld's dissent makes for especially great reading; it starts this way:

The majority decides this case contrary to binding circuit authority, and contrary to the views of all nine other circuits that have spoken to the question.  Fortunately, the practical significance of the majority's holding should gradually dissipate as pre-Booker sentences complete their passage through appellate and post-conviction review.  Unfortunately, there are plenty of pre-Booker sentences left to go.

January 3, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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