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UNITED STATES v. DAWKINS
April 25, 1978
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
KENNETH DAWKINS, a.k.a. Kenneth Norris, a.k.a. Michael Dawkins
The opinion of the court was delivered by: FOGEL
Defendant was named in two counts of an indictment charging conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, and distribution of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). On July 21, 1977, he pleaded guilty to both counts. Defendant appeared for sentencing on October 20, 1977, and moved to withdraw his guilty plea. After full consideration of the matter, defendant's motion was denied. Subsequently, he appealed from our ruling to the Court of Appeals; this opinion sets forth the basis for our decision.
The acceptance of guilty pleas is governed by Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure which provides in pertinent part as follows:
(c) Advice to Defendant. Before accepting a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, the court must address the defendant personally in open court and inform him of, and determine that he understands, the following:
(1) the nature of the charge to which the plea is offered, the mandatory minimum penalty provided by law, if any, and the maximum possible penalty provided by law; and
(2) if the defendant is not represented by an attorney, that he has the right to be represented by an attorney at every stage of the proceeding against him and, if necessary, one will be appointed to represent him; and
(3) that he has the right to plead not guilty or to persist in that plea if it has already been made, and that he has the right to be tried by a jury and at that trial has the right to assistance of counsel, the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses against him, and the right not to be compelled to incriminate himself; and
(4) that if he pleads guilty or nolo contendere there will not be a further trial of any kind, so that by pleading guilty or nolo contendere he waives the right to a trial; and
(5) that if he pleads guilty or nolo contendere, the court may ask him questions about the offense to which he has pleaded, and if he answers these questions under oath, on the record, and in the presence of counsel, his answers may later be used against him in a prosecution for perjury or false statement.
(d) Insuring That the Plea is Voluntary. The court shall not accept a plea of guilty or nolo contendere without first, by addressing the defendant personally in open court, determining that the plea is voluntary and not the result of force or threats or of promises apart from a plea agreement. The court shall also inquire as to whether the defendant's willingness to plead guilty or nolo contendere results from prior discussions between the attorney for the government and the defendant or his attorney.
(e) Plea Agreement Procedure.
(2) Notice of Such Agreement. If a plea agreement has been reached by the parties, the court shall, on the record, require the disclosure of the agreement in open court or, on a showing of good cause, in camera, at the time the plea is offered. . . .
(3) Acceptance of a Plea Agreement. If the court accepts the plea agreement, the court shall inform the defendant that it will embody in the judgment and sentence the disposition provided for in the plea agreement.
(f) Determining Accuracy of Plea. Notwithstanding the acceptance of a plea of guilty, the court should not enter a judgment upon such plea without making such inquiry as shall satisfy ...
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