« Ind. Decision - 7th Circuit decides environmental clean-up costs case | Main | Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court decides two »

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides waiver case

In U.S. v. Blinn (SD Ind., David F. Hamilton, Judge), a 5-page opinion, Judge Williams concludes:

However, we need not entertain the merits of this appeal because of the following waiver provision in Blinn’s plea agreement:
Blinn expressly waives his right to appeal on any ground his conviction of the offense charged in Count One of the Superseding Indictment. Blinn also expressly waives his right to contest or seek review of the sentence on appeal on any ground, including the right to appeal the sentence conferred by Title 18, United States Code, Section 3742.
We will enforce a plea agreement’s appellate waiver if its terms are clear and unambiguous and the record shows that the defendant knowingly and voluntarily entered into the agreement. United States v. Jemison, 237 F.3d 911, 917 (7th Cir. 2001). * * *

It is apparent from the above discussion that the parties bound by the plea agreement—Blinn, the government, and the district court per Rule 11(c)(1)(C)—were all in agreement that Blinn, in exchange for pleading guilty to Count Four, would serve a sentence between twelve and twenty months in prison. In addition, there was no question that the sentencing judge would set the terms of Blinn’s supervised release. Because the plea agreement made no recommendation as to this aspect of Blinn’s sentence, during the plea colloquy, the sentencing judge sought and received Blinn’s acknowledgment that it was within the judge’s discretion to decide the length and conditions of the supervised release. See id. In addition, as we noted earlier, though given the opportunity, Blinn made no objections to the district court’s conditions of his supervised release before it was imposed. Therefore, Blinn’s argument that he was somehow deprived of the benefit of his bargain provides no basis for us to make an exception to his appellate waiver and consider the merits of his case. Accordingly, Blinn’s appeal is DISMISSED.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 13, 2007 11:39 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions