State v. Sutton, 13515

Citation317 N.W.2d 414
Decision Date17 March 1982
Docket NumberNo. 13515,13515
PartiesSTATE of South Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellee, v. Edward William SUTTON, Defendant and Appellant.
CourtSupreme Court of South Dakota

Mikal Hanson, Asst. Atty. Gen., Pierre, for plaintiff and appellee; Mark V. Meierhenry, Atty. Gen., Pierre, on brief.

Rod Woodruff, Belle Fourche, for defendant and appellant.

FOSHEIM, Justice.

Defendant appeals from his conviction for first degree burglary. We reverse and remand.

Following his preliminary hearing in magistrate court, the defendant was bound over for arraignment in circuit court. At that arraignment on February 25, 1981, the information and certain constitutional rights were read to defendant. Pursuant to a plea bargain arrangement, defendant entered a plea of guilty to first degree burglary. On April 15, 1981, imposition of sentence was suspended and defendant was placed on probation for two years.

On June 18, 1981, following a hearing, the circuit court revoked the suspended imposition of sentence and sentenced the defendant to four years in the South Dakota State Penitentiary.

Defendant first raises the issue that he was not adequately advised of his constitutional rights before pleading guilty. In Nachtigall v. Erickson, 85 S.D. 122, 178 N.W.2d 198 (1970), we said: "It is now settled as a principle of the constitutional law that a plea of guilty cannot stand unless the record in some manner indicates a free and intelligent waiver of the three constitutional rights mentioned in Boykin 1--self-incrimination, confrontation and jury trial--and an understanding of the nature and consequences of the plea."

We further stated in Nachtigall that our trial judges can no longer assume that an accused, represented by counsel, has been informed of such constitutional rights and of the nature and consequencies of the plea and that the judge must actively participate by "canvassing the matter with the accused. A silent record is not sufficient." Id.

At his arraignment in circuit court, defendant was advised as follows:

You have a right, Mr. Sutton, to defend yourself against this charge. You may do that either in person or with the aid and assistance of a lawyer. If you do choose to defend yourself you should enter a plea of Not Guilty. That plea would entitle you to have a speedy, public trial before an impartial jury for the purpose of having a jury determine your guilt or your innocence of the charge that has been made against you.

While it appears the alleged crime was committed in Tripp County, defendant was never advised at his arraignment in the circuit court that his constitutional right to a jury trial was in the county where the offense was alleged to have been committed.

"The term 'jury trial' expressed in Nachtigall can only mean the full constitutional right of a 'speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county in which the offense is alleged to have been committed.' " Croan v. State, 295 N.W.2d 728, 730 (S.D.1980). The constitutional right to a trial by jury in the county in which the offense was alleged to have been committed is guaranteed by Article VI, Sec. 7 of the South Dakota Constitution and SDCL 23A-16-3. That right is fundamental in character. It is the duty of the court to so advise the defendant and failure is a denial of due process. State v. Jameson, 71 S.D. 144, 22 N.W.2d 731 (1946), rev'd on other grounds, Nachtigall, supra.

The State argues that since defendant was advised of his right to a trial by jury in Tripp County, at the preliminary hearing, the failure of the circuit court to again advise him of that right was satisfied. In support of that contention, the State relies on Clark v. State, 294 N.W.2d 916 (S.D.1980). We do not find that case supportive. In Clark the defendant was arraigned in circuit court on January 6, 1977, at which time he was thoroughly advised of his statutory and constitutional rights. Following that arraignment, the defendant entered a plea of not guilty. On the following February 1, the defendant again appeared before the trial court and indicated a desire to change his prior plea of not guilty. The defendant was not then readvised of all of his rights. The defendant in Clark maintained that a readvisement should have occurred immediately prior to his plea of guilty. We held that such a readvisement was not necessary, since the trial court could properly assume from the record that the defendant had knowledge, from his initial circuit court arraignment, of his rights and the consequences of his guilty plea when it was entered.

The tape recording and stenographic notes of the preliminary hearing in this case could not be located 2 at the time of the arraignment in circuit court. However, the availability of a transcribed record of the tapes and notes is irrelevant. Just as the trial court cannot assume counsel for the accused fully advised him of his rights, much less can it be assumed a lay magistrate did so. A preliminary examination before a magistrate is not a criminal prosecution within the meaning of art. VI, Sec. 7 of our constitution. Its only purpose is to ascertain whether or not a crime has been committed and whether there is just cause to believe the accused committed it. It is in no sense a trial. State v. Jameson, supra. The trial court proceedings, on the other hand, focus totally on a conviction or acquittal objective. Therefore, regardless of the credentials of the acting magistrate, the preliminary hearing record cannot substitute for the duty of the trial court to actively participate, by informing and canvassing, with the accused to make certain that he knows and understands his constitutional rights and the nature and consequences of the plea. The trial court must be able to determine from its own record that the accused has made a...

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23 cases
  • State v. Moeller
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • January 26, 1994
    ...N.W.2d 677 (S.D.1978), and Spirit Track v. State, 272 N.W.2d 803 (S.D.1978) before SDCL 23A-7-2 and 23A-7-14 were enacted. State v. Sutton, 317 N.W.2d 414 (S.D.1982). However, failure to comply with the statutory provisions of SDCL 23A-7 does not rise to the level of a constitutional issue,......
  • State v. Goodwin, 22574.
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • June 2, 2004
    ...that the accused has made a free and intelligent waiver of his constitutional rights before a guilty plea is accepted." State v. Sutton, 317 N.W.2d 414, 416 (S.D.1982). [¶ 10.] The importance of canvassing the defendant when he enters a guilty plea is vital. For it is at this juncture that ......
  • State v. Schulz, 15273
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • January 15, 1987
    ...State, 372 N.W.2d 463 (S.D.1985); Graham v. State, 328 N.W.2d 254 (S.D.1982); Gregory v. State, 325 N.W.2d 297 (S.D.1982); State v. Sutton, 317 N.W.2d 414 (S.D.1982); Spirit Track v. State, 272 N.W.2d 803 (S.D.1978); State v. Doherty, 261 N.W.2d 677 (S.D.1978). The factual basis requirement......
  • Piper v. Weber
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • July 29, 2009
    ...of his constitutional rights before a guilty plea is accepted.'" Apple, 2008 SD 120, ¶ 10, 759 N.W.2d at 287 (quoting State v. Sutton, 317 N.W.2d 414, 416 (S.D.1982)). "A judge has the duty to make sure that a defendant understands the consequences of entering a guilty plea and the rights t......
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