2001 Federal Sentencing Guideline Manual


§6B1.1. Plea Agreement Procedure (Policy Statement)

(a)If the parties have reached a plea agreement, the court shall, on the record, require disclosure of the agreement in open court or, on a showing of good cause, in camera. Rule 11(e)(2), Fed. R. Crim. P.

(b)If the plea agreement includes a nonbinding recommendation pursuant to Rule 11(e)(1)(B), the court shall advise the defendant that the court is not bound by the sentencing recommendation, and that the defendant has no right to withdraw the defendant’s guilty plea if the court decides not to accept the sentencing recommendation set forth in the plea agreement.

(c)The court shall defer its decision to accept or reject any nonbinding recommendation pursuant to Rule 11(e)(1)(B), and the court’s decision to accept or reject any plea agreement pursuant to Rules 11(e)(1)(A) and 11(e)(1)(C) until there has been an opportunity to consider the presentence report, unless a report is not required under §6A1.1.

Commentary

This provision parallels the procedural requirements of Rule 11(e), Fed. R. Crim. P. Plea agreements must be fully disclosed and a defendant whose plea agreement includes a nonbinding recommendation must be advised that the court’s refusal to accept the sentencing recommendation will not entitle the defendant to withdraw the plea.

Section 6B1.1(c) deals with the timing of the court’s decision whether to accept the plea agreement. Rule 11(e)(2) gives the court discretion to accept the plea agreement immediately or defer acceptance pending consideration of the presentence report. Prior to the guidelines, an immediate decision was permissible because, under Rule 32(c), Fed. R. Crim. P., the defendant could waive preparation of the presentence report. Section 6B1.1(c) reflects the changes in practice required by §6A1.1 (Presentence Report) and amended Rule 32(c)(1). Since a presentence report normally will be prepared, the court must defer acceptance of the plea agreement until the court has had an opportunity to consider the presentence report.

Historical Note: Effective November 1, 1987.