Judge involvement in plea discussions
- • responsibilities of trial judge
(1)(a) The trial judge may not participate in plea discussions, except:
(A) To inquire of the parties about the status of any discussions;
(B) To participate in a tentative plea agreement as provided in subsections (2) to (4) of this section;
(C) To make the inquiries required by ORS 147.512 (Plea hearings, sentencing hearings and settlement conferences); or
(D) As provided in subsection (5) of this section.
(b) Any other judge, at the request of both the prosecution and the defense, or at the direction of the presiding judge, may participate in plea discussions. Participation by a judge in the plea discussion process shall be advisory, and shall in no way bind the parties. If no plea is entered pursuant to these discussions, the advice of the participating judge shall not be reported to the trial judge. If the discussion results in a plea of guilty or no contest, the parties, if they both agree to do so, may proceed with the plea before a judge involved in the discussion. This plea may be entered pursuant to a tentative plea agreement as provided in subsections (2) to (4) of this section.
(2) If a tentative plea agreement has been reached which contemplates entry of a plea of guilty or no contest in the expectation that charge or sentence concessions will be granted, the trial judge, upon request of the parties, may permit the disclosure to the trial judge of the tentative agreement and the reasons therefor in advance of the time for tender of the plea. The trial judge may then advise the district attorney and defense counsel whether the trial judge will concur in the proposed disposition if the information in the presentence report or other information available at the time for sentencing is consistent with the representations made to the trial judge.
(3) If the trial judge concurs, but later decides that the final disposition of the case should not include the sentence concessions contemplated by the plea agreement, the trial judge shall so advise the defendant and allow the defendant a reasonable period of time in which to either affirm or withdraw a plea of guilty or no contest.
(4) When a plea of guilty or no contest is tendered or received as a result of a prior plea agreement, the trial judge shall give the agreement due consideration, but notwithstanding its existence, the trial judge is not bound by it, and may reach an independent decision on whether to grant sentence concessions under the criteria set forth in ORS 135.415 (Criteria to be considered in plea discussions and plea agreements).
(5) With the consent of the parties and upon receipt of a written waiver executed by the defendant, the trial judge may participate in plea discussions. [1973 c.836 §173; 1987 c.202 §1; 1997 c.313 §4; 2009 c.178 §33]
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