Minchey v. State

Decision Date08 September 1980
Docket NumberNo. 60199,60199
Citation271 S.E.2d 885,155 Ga.App. 632
PartiesMINCHEY v. The STATE.
CourtGeorgia Court of Appeals

Alexander L. Zipperer, Robert M. Davis, Savannah, for appellant.

J. Lane Johnson, Dist. Atty., for appellee.

BANKE, Judge.

The appellant was convicted upon his plea of guilty on separate indictments for possession of marijuana, cocaine, and nontax-paid whiskey. On appeal he contends that the trial court erred in accepting his pleas without determining the factual basis for them. The basis for this contention is the following colloquy between the trial judge and the appellant concerning his understanding of his pleas and his various rights:

"THE COURT: Do you understand all of the questions that you've answered so far? DEFENDANT: Yes, sir. THE COURT: Understanding all your rights, do you still want to enter a plea of guilty to these offenses? DEFENDANT: Yes, sir. THE COURT: Is your decision to plead guilty made freely and voluntarily? DEFENDANT: Yes, sir. THE COURT: Has anyone used any force against you to cause you to plead guilty? DEFENDANT: No. THE COURT: Did you in fact commit the offense of possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, and possession of a certain amount of whiskey, the container of which did not bear and have affixed thereto the Revenue Stamps of the State of Georgia? DEFENDANT: Yes, sir. THE COURT: Did you do those things? DEFENDANT: The whiskey and to the marijuana, but not the cocaine. THE COURT: Did you have possession of cocaine? DEFENDANT: Yes, sir, it was found in a jacket on my premises. And I understand the law enough to know I am responsible for it, and charged for it. THE COURT: Do you still intend to plead guilty to the possession of cocaine? DEFENDANT: I have no choice, yes, sir." Held :

1. A state trial judge, in accepting a plea of guilty, now has a similar duty that a federal trial judge has under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. "That rule, in essential part, is as follows: 'The court ... shall not accept (a plea of guilty) without ... determining that the plea is made voluntarily with understanding of the nature of the charge and the consequences of the plea ... The court shall not enter a judgment upon a plea of guilty unless it is satisfied that there is a factual basis for the plea.' " Purvis v. Connell, 227 Ga. 764, 767, 182 S.E.2d 892 (1971). Although the information need no longer be solicited personally by the trial court, that practice and Rule 11's "good list of the considerations of which the trial court must be satisfied before accepting a guilty plea" are recommended. State v. Germany, 245 Ga. 326, 328, 265 S.E.2d 13 (1980).

"A guilty plea is constitutionally valid only if the defendant has made a 'voluntary and intelligent choice' among the various courses of conduct open to him ... North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25, 31, 91 S.Ct. 160, 164, 27 L.Ed.2d 162 (1970) ... Because of the importance of protecting the innocent and of insuring that guilty pleas are a product of free and intelligent choice, various state and federal court decisions properly caution that pleas coupled with claims of innocence should not be accepted unless there is a factual basis for the plea, ... and until the judge taking the plea has inquired into and sought to resolve the conflict between the waiver of trial and the claim of innocence." Willett v. State of Ga., 608 F.2d 538, 540 (5th Cir. 1979). Of course, an accused may plead guilty while claiming his innocence if he intelligently concludes his interests are served, and if the record strongly evidences guilt. See N. Car. v. Alford, supra. The quoted colloquy between the appellant and the trial court was sufficient notice that appellant's plea to the cocaine charge was "coupled with (a) claim of...

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11 cases
  • Baptiste v. State
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • November 18, 1997
    ...(1995); Green v. State, 265 Ga. 263, 454 S.E.2d 466 (1995); Breland v. Smith, 247 Ga. 690, 279 S.E.2d 204 (1981); Minchey v. State, 155 Ga.App. 632(1), 271 S.E.2d 885 (1980). The defendant entered the guilty plea freely, knowingly, and voluntarily. Strickland v. State, 199 Ga. 792, 35 S.E.2......
  • Crowe v. State
    • United States
    • Georgia Supreme Court
    • June 26, 1995
    ...a plea coupled with a claim of innocence requires any additional inquiry into the conflict between the two. See Minchey v. State, 155 Ga.App. 632, 633, 271 S.E.2d 885 (1980). Crowe did not claim his innocence, but rather elected to remain silent on the advice of Crowe further contends that ......
  • Bell v. State, S13A0897.
    • United States
    • Georgia Supreme Court
    • October 7, 2013
    ...v. Alford, 400 U.S. at 28, 32, 91 S.Ct. 160 (defendant testified that he had not shot the victim); see also Minchey v. State, 155 Ga.App. 632(1), 271 S.E.2d 885 (1980) (defendant made a claim of innocence during plea colloquy when he denied possessing cocaine). Cf. Storch v. State, 276 Ga.A......
  • Golden v. State, 77930
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • February 22, 1989
    ...if he intelligently concludes his interests are served, and if the record strongly evidences guilt. [Cit.]" Minchey v. State, 155 Ga.App. 632, 633(1), 271 S.E.2d 885 (1980). The transcript reveals that appellant pled guilty in a manner the constitutionality of which was sanctioned by the Su......
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1 books & journal articles
  • The Misunderstood Alford Plea a Primer
    • United States
    • State Bar of Georgia Georgia Bar Journal No. 19-1, August 2013
    • Invalid date
    ...at 29. [19] Id. at 38. [20] Id. [21] Purvis v. Connell, 227 Ga. 764, 182 S.E.2d 892 (1971). [22] Id. [23] Id. [24] Minchey v. State, 155 Ga.App. 632, 271 S.E.2d 885 (1980). [25] Id. at 632, 271 S.E.2d 886. [26] Id. [27] Id. at 633, 271 S.E.2d 887. [28] Id. [29] Alford, 400 U.S. at 28. [30] ......

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