North Carolina v. Alford – to avoid death penalty, D pleas but maintains innocence despite evidence indicating guilt; judge accepted the guilty plea, held Constitutional
called an Alford Plea – express admission of guilt not required for guilty plea
judge can take position of not accepting guilty plea if D says innocent
must have factual basis for Alford Plea, even in state courts (normally not necessary in all states if just a normal guilty plea)
Texas DOES NOT accept Alford Pleas
Role of Trial Judge in Accepting or Rejecting the Plea
Ammidown – murder for hire, judge refused to accept husband’s plea; D tried and sentenced to life
it is not for the judge to second guess the prosecutor’s decision on what to charge
executive, not judicial decision