On 29 November 2006, the County Court of Suffolk County rendered judgment convicting a certain defendant of rape in the second degree (three counts) and endangering the welfare of a child, upon his plea of guilty.
On appeal, the Appellate Court affirmed the judgment of the County Court. Domestic violence was not charged and a drug was not found.
Here, the County Criminal Court providently exercised its discretion in denying, without a hearing, the defendant’s pro se motion to withdraw his plea of guilty. As a rule, a motion to withdraw a plea of guilty rests within the sound discretion of the court, whose determination generally will not be disturbed absent an improvident exercise of discretion. This is clearly stated in CPL 220.60; and is the court’s ruling in the cases of People v. Seeber, People v. Villalobos, People v. Hines, People v. Massey, People v. Torres, and People v. DeLeon. Based on the records of the case, there was sufficient evidence to support the County Court’s determination that the defendant’s plea was entered knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently. Moreover, the defendant entered his negotiated plea of guilty with the assistance of competent counsel, in exchange of a very favorable sentence promise. What’s more, the defendant’s unsubstantiated claim of dissatisfaction with the representation of his attorney was refuted by his statements during the plea allocution.
Meanwhile, sometime in November 2002, another defendant was sentenced in the County Court to a total aggregate term of imprisonment of 57 years, upon his convictions of rape in the first degree (25 years), sodomy in the first degree (25 years), and assault in the second degree (7 years), under two separate indictments. Those sentences are deemed, by operation of law, to be 50 years. The defendant was also sentenced to various concurrent indeterminate and determinate sentences that did not affect the overall length of the term of incarceration imposed upon him. The County Court, however, did not impose the statutorily required periods of postrelease supervision.
On 26 January 2009, the County Court of Suffolk County issued an order resentencing another defendant, upon his convictions of rape in the first degree and sodomy in the first degree, upon a jury verdict, where he was imposed periods of postrelease supervision of five years in addition to each of the previously imposed determinate sentences of imprisonment of 25 years; and upon his conviction of assault in the second degree, also upon a jury verdict, where he was imposed a period of postrelease supervision of five years in addition to the previously imposed determinate sentence of imprisonment of seven years. The County Court resentenced the defendant, over his objection on double jeopardy grounds, to the same prison terms, but with each determinate sentence to be followed by a five-year period of postrelease supervision. These resentences were imposed as a result of legislative amendments to the Correction Law and the Penal Law addressing the problems created by the failure of sentencing courts to impose statutorily required periods of postrelease supervision when imposing determinate sentences. The defendant appealed from the resentences.
On appeal, the Appellate Court affirmed the judgment of the County Court.
Here, the resentencings did not violate the Double Jeopardy Clauses of the United States and New York Constitutions, inasmuch as the defendant was still incarcerated pursuant to his indeterminate sentences when the County Court resentenced him to terms including the statutorily required periods of postrelease supervision. This in accordance with the court’s rulings in People v. Prendergast and People v. Williams in 2010. To the extent that the defendant raised a claim under the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution, his contention was without merit, as held in Hawkins v. Freeman; DeWitt v. Ventetoulo; and Breest v. Helgemoe.
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