Sunday, December 12, 2010

Defendant may waive double jeopardy rights via guilty plea

Scott v. Beck, No. 1:07CV246, 2010 WL 4939964 (W.D.N.C. Nov. 30, 2010):

A criminal defendant can waive his constitutional protections from Double Jeopardy via a guilty plea.  A defendant who pleads guilty to two counts with facial allegations of distinct offenses concedes that he has committed two separate crimes.  When this occurs, unless it appears on the face of the record that the Court had no power to enter the conviction or to impose the sentence, the Court's inquiry ordinarily is confined to whether the underlying plea was both counseled and voluntary.  If so, Petitioner has no right to a review of the merits of his double jeopardy claim, and it will be summarily dismissed during habeas proceedings.  (Nevertheless, the Court reviewed the merits of Petitioner's claim and found it meritless because the charges did not violate the Blockburger test.)

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