The Defendant in this case plead guilty to one count of first degree murder. The plea was “open” where the prosecution would argue for no more than a 60 year sentence. The judge then proceeded to impose a 55 year sentence which led the Defendant to move to withdraw his plea.
The defense attorney submitted a certificate pursuant to Rule 604(d) which did not include the new language that the attorney reviewed the “the report of proceedings in the sentencing hearing.” Interestingly enough, this language was not in effect yet for several months at the time of the filing and the adjudication of the motion.
The appellate court reversed, looking for strict compliance with the Rule, which included holding the Rule change to be retroactive even though the language was not yet in effect.
The decision is People v. Reginald Scott.