USA V. JASON DAVID, No. 20-50274 (9th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
After pleading guilty to charges stemming from possessing stolen mail, credit cards, and other financial devices, Defendant was sentenced to 36 months in prison. He appealed his custodial sentence. But, under the terms of Defendant’s plea agreement, he waived the right to appeal his sentence. Defendant argued the court should invalidate the waiver because the district court violated Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. That Rule provides that the district court must address the defendant “personally” and determine that the defendant understands the terms of any appellate waiver. Fed. R. Crim. Proc. 11(b)(1)(N). Defendant asserted that the district court failed to follow this requirement and so he should be permitted to appeal his sentence.
The Ninth Circuit affirmed. The court reviewed for plain error because Defendant failed to object to the alleged violation during the plea colloquy. The court cited several factors in the record including the plea agreement’s specificity as to the scope of the appellate waiver, the counsel’s certification of her discussion and advice concerning the consequences of the entering the agreement, and Defendant’s assurances during the change-of-plea hearing and plea colloquy that he understood the proceedings and the agreement. The court wrote that nothing in the record supports a reasonable probability that Defendant would not have entered the guilty plea had the district court separately addressed the appellate waiver as Rule 11 requires. Thus, the court held that the appellate waiver is enforceable, and did not consider Defendant’s challenges to his custodial sentence.