People v. Williams

CourtNew York Court of Appeals
Citation370 N.Y.S.2d 904,331 N.E.2d 684,36 N.Y.2d 829
Parties, 331 N.E.2d 684 The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Stuart WILLIAMS, Appellant.
Decision Date01 May 1975

Charles D. Halvorsen and Nathaniel A. Barrell, Buffalo, for appellant.

Edward C. Cosgrove, Dist. Atty. (Judith Blake Manzella, Buffalo, of counsel), for respondent.


As a condition to acceptance of his plea defendant was asked to waive his right of appeal from the denial of his suppression motion. In the circumstances of this case we give effect to that waiver.

Defendant was indicted on two counts of murder. Prior to trial he made a motion to suppress certain admissions he had made to the police. On the eve of trial, sometime after his suppression motion had been denied, defendant indicated his readiness to plead guilty to two counts of manslaughter in satisfaction of the two murder counts. In response the prosecutor stated that the People would consent to the acceptance of such pleas on condition that defendant waive his right to appeal on the suppression issue. In justification for imposing this condition the prosecutor informed the court that he had witnesses who were ready to testify and that special arrangements had been made at some expense, for the viewing of the videotape of defendant's interview with the police. 'We feel that if the defendant were allowed to take the pleas without giving up the right to appeal, the People would be prejudiced in that if for some reason the Court's decision were overturned, it would be possibly a year before that happened, and our witnesses could be unavailable at that time, so that at this point we would consent to these pleas if defendant gives up his right to appeal the proceedings which have happened in this case before today.'

Defendant was represented by two counsel, separately assigned for the two homicides. He readily admitted that he had discussed the situation and his pleas thoroughly with members of his family and others, as well as with both his counsel. The interrogation by the court of both defendant and his counsel with respect to plea and waiver was exemplary. The confession of factual guilt by defendant was unequivocal.

On this record there can be no doubt that defendant's plea and the associated waiver were each made knowingly and voluntarily. His position on this appeal is based rather on the argument that as a matter of law under CPL 710.70 (subd. 2) there can be no waiver of a defendant's right...

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128 cases
  • People v. Grant
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals
    • July 13, 1978
    ...the time of plea he did not waive his right to appeal and have the confession suppressed and a new trial granted (see People v. Williams, 36 N.Y.2d 829, 371 N.Y.S.2d 880, 333 N.E.2d In sum, when a conviction is based on a plea of guilty an appellate court will rarely, if ever, be able to de......
  • People v. Charles
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 23, 1985
    ...and common sense, but also by a vast array of cases and legal authorities from sister state jurisdictions. In People v. Williams (1975) 36 N.Y.2d 829, 370 N.Y.S.2d 904, 331 N.E.2d 684 (cert. den. 423 U.S. 873, 96 S.Ct. 141, 46 L.Ed.2d 104), a case very similar to the case at bench, the defe......
  • People v. Thomas, 87, No. 88, No. 89
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals
    • November 26, 2019
    ...of the CPL 710.70 right to appellate review of a suppression ruling can be a condition of the plea bargain (see People v. Williams, 36 N.Y.2d 829, 830, 370 N.Y.S.2d 904, 331 N.E.2d 684 [1975] ). Since harmless error analysis is generally not available on an appeal following a guilty plea, t......
  • Com. v. Bonasorte
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • December 21, 1984
    ...State v. Luciow, 308 Minn. 6, 240 N.W.2d 833 (1976); State v. Burnett, 42 N.J. 377, 201 A.2d 39 (1964); People v. Huggins, 36 N.Y.2d 827, 331 N.E.2d 684, 370 N.Y.S.2d 904 (1975) (Darden proceeding discretionary); State v. Cofone, 112 R.I. 760, 315 A.2d 752 (1974); but cf. Schmid v. State, 6......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
    • United States
    • Albany Law Review Vol. 84 No. 2, June 2021
    • June 22, 2021
    ...1995); New York, DEATH PENALTY INFO. CTR., []. (14) People v. Williams, 331 N.E.2d 684 (N.Y. 1975). (15) See id. at 685. (16) See id. (17) Id. at 685 (citing People v. Esajerre, 323 N.E.2d 175, 178-79 (1974). (18) See William......

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