Showing posts from June, 2013

United States v. Davila - Supreme Court Rules in Plea Bargaining Case

Yesterday, a unanimous Supreme Court delivered the opinion in the case of United States v. Davila. The opinion was written by Justice Ginsburg. Justice Scalia filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgement, with Justice Thomas joining.  The Cornell Legal Information Institute describes the facts of the case as follows: On February 8, 2010, a magistrate judge held a hearing with the defendant, Anthony Davila, and his attorney. At the hearing, the judge encouraged Davila to plead guilty, and on May 11, 2010, Davila pled guilty to the charges. On appeal, Davila successfully argued that the judge’s encouragement constituted a violation of Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (“FRCP”) 11(c)(1), which generally prohibits the judge from participating in plea-bargaining. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether any judicial participation in plea-bargaining, as opposed to “prejudicial” participation, mandates automatic reversal of a conviction. The United