CRIMINAL: Guilty Plea (Affect of Deportation on voluntariness)
PUBLISHED: AFFIRMING; PAISLEY W/COMBS CONCURRING W/SEP. OPINON
DATE RENDERED: 2/23/2007
CA affirmed Circuit Court’s denial of Defendant’s CR 60.02 motion seeking to vacate a judgment of conviction entered after he pleaded guilty to assault under extreme emotional disturbance. Because precedent establishes that the failure to inform a defendant of deportation consequences has no constitutional implications and is collateral to the guilty plea proceeding, there is no requirement that counsel or the court inform a defendant of those consequences at the time a guilty plea is entered. It cannot, therefore, constitute sufficient grounds for extraordinary relief under CR 60.02(f)
Note: Judge Combs penned a stirring concurring opinion: "The human consequences flowing from deportation are enormous and must be weighed in the balance when determining whether a plea is voluntarily and intelligently entered. To pretend otherwise is to dishonor the hallowed place that due process occupies for all who come before our courts. Its importance should not be dismissed or diminished simply because an accused is a non-citizen whose injured rights can be cavalierly characterized as “collateral damage.” We should be ashamed at such an outcome. Our Supreme Court or our General Assembly clearly should address this grievous gap in the law."