Monday, February 09, 2009

Court Must Explain Waiver of Right to Appeal

In People v. Farrow, the Fourth Department reaffirmed that a defendant cannot waive his right to have a waiver of the right to appeal explained on the record. Moreover, the court re-stated its position that the judge accepting the plea and waiver has an independent duty to ensure that the defendant understands the waiver. The court said:
"It cannot be gainsaid that it is the responsibility of the court to ensure that "a defendant's understanding of the terms and conditions of a plea agreement is evident on the face of the record" (Lopez, 6 NY3d at 256; see Callahan, 80 NY2d at 283). Defendant's purported waiver cannot relieve the court of its responsibility."