Sometimes the courts try to save a defendant from himself, especially
in plea withdrawal cases. The attorney
works out a sweetheart deal, or maybe he doesn't; maybe it's just the best deal
under the circumstances, but it will save the defendant a decade or so in
prison, maybe a life tail in a rape case, maybe even the needle. Then the client has second thoughts, tries to
back out of it, but the court won't let him.
I've seen it happen in dozens of cases.
It might have happened to Tywand Hudson. He and two cohorts, Johnny Speed and Michael
Brooks, were charged with breaking into the home of a woman and her two children, and robbing them at gunpoint. That worked out to a count of aggravated
burglary, and three each of aggravated robbery and kidnapping, all with one-
and three-year firearms specs. That
meant Hudson was looking at some serious pain:
the robbery and the kidnapping would merge, and if you got the right
panel in the court of appeals the burglary might, too, but there were three victims,
so there's a separate animus for each one, and the three-year gun specs... Realistically, the best Hudson could hope for
on conviction was a sentence of around eight years, and there was a distinct possibility
of one in the mid-teens.
Hudson was spared that pain when, in the midst of trial, the
State and the defendants agreed to a deal:
a plea to a single count of robbery and one of abduction, both third
degree felonies, with a one-year gun spec and an agreed two year sentence. Sure enough, when Hudson showed up for
sentencing two days later, he tried to back out of the plea, but the court denied
the motion, and last week in State
v. Hudson, the 8th District completed the judicial effort to rescue
Hudson from himself.
But maybe not.
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