Attacking the Guilty Plea: Waivers, Breaches, and Getting More Time After a Successful Challenge

In this final column based on my book, WinningCites: Attacking the Guilty Plea, we’ll go over how plea waivers and breaches of plea agreements impact challenging a guilty plea, and we’ll also dig into one of the most-asked questions I hear: Can I get more time if I get convicted again after attacking my guilty…

Read More

The Effect of a Guilty Plea on an Appeal

Guilty Plea

A guilty plea does not necessarily mean that a criminal defendant gives up the right to appeal his conviction. If the defendant seeks to challenge the constitutionality of the statute that he pled guilty to violating, he may still have the right to a direct appeal from a district court’s decision. This is the principle…

Read More

Capital Punishment and the Eighth Amendment

Capital Punishment, Eighth Amendment

The Supreme Court is preparing to decide a complex appeal in Moore v. Texas, which involves a defendant who was convicted of murder and sentenced to execution but claims that he is intellectually disabled. Pursuant to the Supreme Court’s decision in 2002 in Atkins v. Virginia, it is unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment to execute…

Read More

Requirement of Consideration for Appeal Waivers

Appeal Waiver

Plea deals may seem like the most opportune way for a criminal defendant to avoid having to serve the maximum sentence that he could receive for his offenses. However, the government typically has the upper hand in this situation and requires that the defendant relinquish his right to appeal the sentence. In United States v.…

Read More

Challenging Waivers of Right to a Jury Trial

Right to a Jury Trial

Federal courts are obligated to error on the finding that a constitutional right has not been waived in a criminal case. This is true for a defendant’s right to a jury trial. What is ordinarily a mundane issue of federal criminal procedure recently ended up generating an overturned conviction in a fraud case. In United…

Read More

Domestic Terrorism: Sentencing Appeal in the Infamous D.C. Sniper Case

domestic terrorism

April brought us the bomber who terrorized Austin, Texas, for two weeks with random mail-bomb attacks. That type of domestic terrorism, however, is nothing new. Domestic Terrorism: The D.C. Sniper Case in 2002 Rewind to October 2002 in the Maryland-D.C.-Virginia area. As you may recall, the so-called D.C. Sniper terrorized that entire region for three…

Read More