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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. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

  2. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  3. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  4. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  5. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

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