United States of America, Appellee/cross-appellant, v. James Zantreece Austin, Appellant/cross-appellee, 255 F.3d 593 (8th Cir. 2001)

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U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit - 255 F.3d 593 (8th Cir. 2001) Submitted: May 15, 2001Filed: June 18, 2001

The Honorable Andrew W. Bogue, United States District Judge for the District of South Dakota, sitting by designation.


The Honorable Paul A. Magnuson, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, sitting by designation.


Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 46(b), the Chief Judge certified the existence of a judicial emergency necessitating the designation of a panel consisting of fewer than two members of the Court of Appeals.


The Honorable George Howard, Jr., United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas.


Although we do not find sufficient evidence to establish that the Government violated the plea agreement in this case, we note that it is not uncommon for the Government to omit controversial provisions from a plea agreement knowing that Probation will include that provision in the PSR. As a result, defendants may be subject to sentencing enhancements that, if known at the time of entering into the plea agreement, would likely have affected their decisions to plead guilty. Our decision in this case in no way condones such practices. The Government must act in a forthright and honest manner when entering into plea agreements with criminal defendants. The ends of justice demand nothing less.