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United States Supreme Court

404 U.S. 257

Santobello  v.  New York

 Argued: Nov. 15, 1971. --- Decided: Dec 20, 1971


After negotiations with the prosecutor, petitioner withdrew his previous not-guilty plea to two felony counts and pleaded guilty to a lesser-included offense, the prosecutor having agreed to make no recommendation as to sentence. At petitioner's appearance for sentencing many months later a new prosecutor recommended the maximum sentence, which the judge (who stated that he was uninfluenced by that recommendation) imposed. Petitioner attempted unsuccessfully to withdraw his guilty plea, and his conviction was affirmed on appeal. Held: The interests of justice and proper recognition of the prosecution's duties in relation to promises made in connection with 'any agreement on a plea of guilty' require that the judgment be vacated and that the case be remanded to the state courts for further consideration as to whether the circumstances require only that there be specific performance of the agreement on the plea (in which case petitioner should be resentenced by a different judge), or petitioner should be afforded the relief he seeks of withdrawing his guilty plea. Pp. 260-263.

35 A.D.2d 1084, 316 N.Y.S.2d 194, vacated and remanded.

Irving Anolik, New York City, for petitioner.

Daniel J. Sullivan, New York City, for respondent.

Mr. Chief Justice BURGER delivered the opinion of the Court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).