ILNews

Defendants can waive appeal right in bargains

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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Criminal defendants can waive their right to appeal a trial court's sentencing decision as part of a plea agreement, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.

In a unanimous ruling in Timothy Ray Creech v. State of Indiana, No. 35S02-0709-CR-376, justices affirmed a decision from Huntington Circuit Judge Thomas M. Hakes.

The case stems from a six-year executed sentence on a child-molesting charge in 2006; Creech had entered a plea agreement that left the sentence up to the trial judge but capped the executed portion at six years. The agreement stated, "I understand that I have a right to appeal my sentence if there is an open plea ... I hereby waive my right to appeal my sentence as long as the Judge sentences me within the terms of my plea agreement."

Creech argued that because the judge didn't question him about that provision, later informed him he had the right to appeal, and that he didn't knowingly and voluntarily waive his right to appellate review, he was able to challenge the sentence. Justices disagreed.

"Acceptance of the plea agreement containing the waiver provision is sufficient to indicate that, in the trial court's view, the defendant knowingly and voluntarily agreed to the waiver," Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard wrote, noting that this ruling doesn't affect the court's long-standing policy that a defendant can argue those points in post-conviction proceedings if the plea was coerced or made unintelligently.

Though justices determined that the trial judge did erroneously advise Creech of a possibility for an appeal, they determined that Creech had already received the benefit of the plea agreement and that advisement likely had no effect on the result.
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  1. Im very happy for you, getting ready to go down that dirt road myself, and im praying for the same outcome, because it IS sometimes in the childs best interest to have visitation with grandparents. Thanks for sharing, needed to hear some positive posts for once.

  2. Been there 4 months with 1 paycheck what can i do

  3. our hoa has not communicated any thing that takes place in their "executive meetings" not executive session. They make decisions in these meetings, do not have an agenda, do not notify association memebers and do not keep general meetings minutes. They do not communicate info of any kind to the member, except annual meeting, nobody attends or votes because they think the board is self serving. They keep a deposit fee from club house rental for inspection after someone uses it, there is no inspection I know becausee I rented it, they did not disclose to members that board memebers would be keeping this money, I know it is only 10 dollars but still it is not their money, they hire from within the board for paid positions, no advertising and no request for bids from anyone else, I atteended last annual meeting, went into executive session to elect officers in that session the president brought up the motion to give the secretary a raise of course they all agreed they hired her in, then the minutes stated that a diffeerent board member motioned to give this raise. This board is very clickish and has done things anyway they pleased for over 5 years, what recourse to members have to make changes in the boards conduct

  4. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  5. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

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