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Defendant waived right to appeal sentence

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Finding that a man knowingly and voluntarily waived the right to appeal the appropriateness of his concurrent 34-year sentences following a guilty plea to drug charges, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his sentence.

In Richard Hawkins v. State of Indiana, 79A02-1211-CR-958, Richard Hawkins agreed to plead guilty to Class A felonies dealing in cocaine and possession of cocaine in exchange for other drug charges to be dropped. The plea said the sentencing would be at the discretion of the trial court, other than Hawkins would receive concurrent sentences. It also contained language that he knowingly and voluntarily agrees to waive his right to appeal his sentence by entering into the plea.

Despite this waiver clause, Hawkins argues that he didn’t knowingly or voluntarily waive this right to appeal his sentence, pointing to the trial court’s advisement during the plea hearing that he is entitled to be represented by an attorney on appeal.

But the appellate court found by explaining that Hawkins has the right to an attorney, the trial judge did not contradict the waiver portion. Instead, read in the context of the hearing, the trial court merely explained Hawkins’ right to representation – a right clearly distinct from his right to appeal his sentence, Judge Patricia Riley wrote.

“By separating the right to appeal from the right to representation, the trial court properly advised Hawkins without contradicting itself or raising any ambiguities. We conclude that Hawkins knowingly and voluntarily waived his right to appeal his sentence,” she wrote.

 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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