A07047 Summary:

BILL NOA07047
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORO'Donnell
 
COSPNSR
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd SS220.10 & 220.30, CP L
 
Relates to a plea of guilty.
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A07047 Actions:

BILL NOA07047
 
04/21/2015referred to codes
06/08/2015reported referred to rules
01/06/2016referred to codes
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A07047 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A7047
 
SPONSOR: O'Donnell
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to a plea of guilty This measure is being introduced at the request of the Judiciary upon the recommendation of the New York State Permanent Commission on Sentencing{1}.   PROVISIONS OF THIS MEASURE This measure would amend sections 220.10(5) and 220.30(3) of the Crimi- nal Procedure Law to permit a plea of guilty, notwithstanding any current statutory restriction on such a plea otherwise, when both the prosecutor and the court are satisfied that, in the interest of justice, the nature and circumstances of the criminal conduct, the available evidence and the history and character of the defendant justify such plea. Section one of this measure would amend section 220.10, which sets forth the rules governing when a defendant charged in a single indictment may take a guilty plea. Subdivision (5) of section 220.10 now sets forth restrictions on the taking of such a plea depending upon the charges that the defendant faces, e.g., where defendant is charged with a certain B felony, then any guilty plea he or she enters to the indict- ment must include a plea of guilty to a felony. The amendment to section 220.10(5) provided in this measure would permit defendant, with permission of the court and consent of the people, to enter a guilty plea to a charge not now permitted by section 220.10 under circumstances where, based on the nature and circumstances of the criminal conduct, the available evidence and the defendant's history and character{2}, both court and prosecutor believe such guilty plea would be in the interest of justice. Section two of this measure makes a comparable amendment to section 220.30(3)(b), which sets forth the rules governing when a defendant charged in multiple indictments may take a single guilty plea in satis- faction of those indictments. Note that neither of the foregoing changes will alter the law with respect to a guilty plea when capital murder is charged or in the case of a juvenile offender.   JUSTIFICATION: Prior to the Rockefeller Drug Laws, a plea of guilty to less than an entire indictment was permitted with the consent of the court and prose- cutor. There were no other statutory restrictions on a guilty plea to a lesser offense. When proposing his Drug Laws in the early 1970s, Governor Rockefeller wanted to bar a defendant from evading the higher penalties called for thereunder by pleading guilty to a lesser crime, even where the court and prosecutor consented; and, so, the laws governing the taking of guilty pleas were amended accordingly. Since then, the Legislature has applied similar restrictions upon pleas to broader classes of felonies than those originally envisioned as part of the Drug Law enactment. The Sentencing Commission now recognizes that information such as might justify resolution of a criminal charge by guilty plea may not often be complete on the day that the indictment is filed; and, yet, that is the day on which the plea restrictions now set forth in sections 220.10 and 220.30 attach. Experience has shown that the nature and weight of the evidence against defendant may change over time and, as a result, the prosecutor's belief as to the proper level of a defendant's culpability, particularly among his or her accomplices, may change as well. The result: despite ongoing efforts by prosecutors, courts and criminal defendants and their counsel to do justice within the current statutory framework, the arbitrary and artificial restrictions on guilty pleas dictated by that framework may force expensive and unnecessary trials, which can be contrary to the interests of the prosecution, the defendant and the community. Accordingly, the Commission urges the enactment of this measure. While keeping the current plea restrictions intact, the measure adds an escape valve to permit the doing of justice in especially compelling cases. It does this by supplying a mechanism for overriding the restrictions on guilty pleas where, upon consideration of the nature and circumstances of the criminal conduct, the available evidence and the defendant's history and character, both the court and the people agree that bypass- ing the restrictions is warranted in the interest of justice. This mech- anism will promote fairness for individual defendants, spare communities the need to expend precious resources on unnecessary trials and, over- all, further the administration of criminal justice{3}. This measure would take effect immediately.   2013-14 LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Senate 5649 (Rules) (Codes) Assembly 7624 (M. of A. Lentol) (Rules) {1} The New York State Sentencing Commission, was established by the Chief Judge of the State in 2010. It is co-chaired by the Hon. Derek Champagne, Franklin County Family Court judge and former Franklin County District Attorney, and Hon. Cyrus Vance, Jr., New York County District Attorney. Its members include a broad spectrum of representatives from the criminal justice community, including criminal defense attorneys, judges, policymakers, academics and victim advocates. The Commission serves in an advisory capacity to the Chief Judge and is charged with comprehensively evaluating sentencing laws and practices and recommend- ing reforms that will improve the quality and effectiveness of statewide sentencing policy. {2} The amendment requires that all of these factors be placed upon the record, although the failure to do so would not be grounds for the defendant to have his or her plea set aside. {3} Note that there is precedent for this measure under current law wherein, under the Vehicle and Traffic Law, the people and the court may consent to a defendant's guilty plea to a violation of the DWI laws albeit such plea is otherwise barred by statute. See VTL § 1192(10).
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A07047 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          7047
 
                               2015-2016 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                     April 21, 2015
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M. of A. O'DONNELL -- (at request of the Office of Court
          Administration) -- read once and referred to the Committee on Codes
 
        AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation  to  a  plea  of
          guilty
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Subdivision 5 of section 220.10 of the  criminal  procedure
     2  law is amended by adding a new paragraph (i) to read as follows:
     3    (i) A defendant, with both the permission of the court and the consent
     4  of the people, may enter a plea of guilty as authorized by this section,
     5  notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), (f) and
     6  (h)  of  this  subdivision,  when  upon review of the nature and circum-
     7  stances of the criminal conduct, the available evidence and the  history
     8  and  character of the defendant, the prosecutor and the court are of the
     9  opinion that the plea  is  in  the  interest  of  justice.  The  factors
    10  warranting  the plea shall be placed on the record; however, the failure
    11  to do so shall not entitle the defendant to have the plea of guilty  set
    12  aside.
    13    §  2. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 3 of section 220.30 of the criminal
    14  procedure law is amended by adding a new subparagraph  (x)  to  read  as
    15  follows:
    16    (x) A defendant, with both the permission of the court and the consent
    17  of the people, may enter a plea of guilty as authorized by this section,
    18  notwithstanding  the provisions of subparagraphs (i), (ii), (iii), (iv),
    19  (v), (vi), (vii) and (ix) of this paragraph, when  upon  review  of  the
    20  nature and circumstances of the criminal conduct, the available evidence
    21  and  the  history and character of the defendant, the prosecutor and the
    22  court are of the opinion that the plea is in the  interest  of  justice.
    23  The  factors warranting the plea shall be placed on the record; however,
    24  the failure to do so shall not entitle the defendant to have the plea of
    25  guilty set aside.
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD08694-01-5

        A. 7047                             2
 
     1    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
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