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United States v. Hyde

Supreme Court of the United States

April 15, 1997, Argued ; May 27, 1997, Decided

No. 96-667

Opinion

 [*671]   [**1631]   [***939]  CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST delivered the opinion of the Court.

 Rule 32(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure states that a district [****4]  court may allow a defendant to withdraw his guilty plea before he is sentenced "if the defendant shows any fair and just reason." After the defendant in this case pleaded guilty, pursuant to a plea agreement, the District Court accepted his plea but deferred decision on whether to accept the plea agreement. The defendant then sought to withdraw his plea. We hold that in such circumstances a defendant may not withdraw his plea unless he shows a "fair and just reason" under Rule 32(e).

A federal grand jury indicted respondent Robert Hyde on eight counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, and other fraud-related crimes. On the morning of his trial, respondent indicated his desire to enter plea negotiations with the Government. Those negotiations produced a plea agreement  [*672]  in which respondent  [**1632]  agreed to plead guilty to four of the counts. In exchange, the Government agreed to move to dismiss the remaining four counts and not to bring further charges against respondent for other allegedly fraudulent conduct.

That afternoon, the parties appeared again before the District Court and submitted the plea agreement to the court, along with respondent's "application for permission to enter [a] plea of [****5]  guilty." After placing respondent under oath, the court questioned him extensively to ensure that his plea was knowing and voluntary, and that he understood the consequences of pleading guilty, including the possibility of a maximum sentence of 30 years. The court asked respondent what he had done, and respondent admitted committing the crimes set out in the four counts. The court then asked the Government to set out what it was prepared to prove, and the Government did so. The court asked respondent whether he  [***940]  was pleading guilty because he was in fact guilty of the crimes set out in the four counts. Respondent said that he was. Finally, the court asked respondent how he pleaded to each count, and respondent stated "guilty."

The District Court concluded that respondent was pleading guilty knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently, and that there was a factual basis for the plea. The court therefore stated that it was accepting respondent's guilty plea. It also stated that it was deferring decision on whether to accept the plea agreement, pending completion of the presentence report.

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520 U.S. 670 *; 117 S. Ct. 1630 **; 137 L. Ed. 2d 935 ***; 1997 U.S. LEXIS 3253 ****; 65 U.S.L.W. 4369; 97 Cal. Daily Op. Service 3922; 97 Daily Journal DAR 6597; 10 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 489

UNITED STATES, PETITIONER v. ROBERT E. HYDE

Prior History:  [****1]  ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT, Reported at: 1996 U.S. App. LEXIS 18584.

Disposition: 92 F.3d 779, reversed.

CORE TERMS

guilty plea, plea agreement, withdraw, sentence, district court, just reason, accepting, deferred, counts, presentence report

Criminal Law & Procedure, Preliminary Proceedings, Entry of Pleas, Changes & Withdrawals, Guilty Pleas, General Overview, Sentencing, Plea Agreements, Standards of Review, Harmless & Invited Error, Types of Pleas, Knowing & Intelligent Requirement, Voluntariness, Sentencing Guidelines, Presentence Reports, Plea Bargaining Process, Enforcement of Plea Agreements, Plain Error