Saturday, April 22, 2006

Bluemel v. State, 2006 UT App 141

Blumel pled guilty to having sex with her fourteen year-old foster son. She pled guilty and got sentenced to three concurrent prison terms of five years to life. She allegedly asked her attorney to file an appeal, but no appeal was filed. More than two years after sentencing, Bluemel got a new attorney and filed a post-conviction petition.

The State moved to dismiss the peition because it was untimely (filed more than a year after the last day to file a direct appeal) and the interests-of-justice exception did not apply. The trial court agreed and tossed the case.

The court of appeals disagreed and reversed. It held that the plea-taking court had failed to properly incorporate Bluemel's plea affidavit and failed to inform her of several rule 11(e) (criminal rules) rights. The court then determined that "non-compliance with rule 11 readily falls within the interests-of-justice exception under the [Post-Conviction Remedies Act (PCRA)]."


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