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As a general rule, statements made by a defendant in connection with an aborted or withdrawn plea cannot be introduced at trial. Fed R. Evid. 410; Fed R. Crim. P. 11(f). However, a defendant may agree to waive the protection of Rule 410, and courts will enforce such agreements unless there is "some affirmative indication that the agreement was entered into unknowingly or involuntarily."
Defendant was charged with a federal crime based on his involvement in an arson. He agreed to cooperate with the plaintiff and pleaded guilty to a reduced charge. During his plea proceedings before the federal district court, he admitted that he assisted in committing the arson. The government later accused defendant of lying during a debriefing session, and his cooperation deal with the government ended. The district court allowed him to withdraw his guilty plea. The government then sought to introduce his statements from the plea proceedings regarding his involvement in the arson.
Did the plea withdrawal nullify his statements from plea proceedings?
Federal Rule of Evidence 410 provides that in criminal cases, statements made during a proceeding on a guilty plea that was later withdrawn are not admissible against the defendant who made the plea. However, his cooperation agreement with the government provided that in any prosecution resulting from a breach of the agreement, he waived his rights to object to the government’s use of statements made by him in connection with any aborted or withdrawn guilty plea.