Commonwealth v. GomezAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court held that a conditional guilty plea is permissible if it is entered with the consent of the superior court and the Commonwealth and identifies the specific ruling from which the defendant intends to appeal.
After noting that Mass. R. Crim. P. 12 does not specifically authorize a conditional guilty plea, and nothing in the language of Rule 12 or its amendments contemplates this approach, and neither the Rule nor any statute prohibits a conditional guilty plea, the Supreme Judicial Court, in exercise of its superintendence power, responded to a reported question from a superior court judge on the issue. The Court decided that a conditional guilty plea is permissible so long as it is entered with the consent of the court and the Commonwealth, and the defendant specifies the pretrial motion from which he seeks to appeal at the time the plea is entered. The Court asked the standing advisory committee on the rules of criminal procedure to propose a suitable amendment to Rule 12 to delineate the requirements for conditional guilty pleas.