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People v. Johnson

Supreme Court of New York, Second Department

August 7, 2013

The People of the State of New York, respondent,
v.
Warren Johnson, appellant. Ind. No. 2141/07

Lynn W. L. Fahey, New York, N.Y., for appellant.

Richard A. Brown, District Attorney, Kew Gardens, N.Y. (John M. Castellano and Daniel Bresnahan of counsel; Julaine Gallo on the memorandum), for respondent.

RANDALL T. ENG, P.J., WILLIAM F. MASTRO, THOMAS A. DICKERSON, PLUMMER E. LOTT, ROBERT J. MILLER, JJ.

DECISION & ORDER

Appeal by the defendant, as limited by his motion, from a sentence of the Supreme Court, Queens County (Hanophy, J.), imposed January 12, 2009, upon his plea of guilty, on the ground that the sentence was excessive.

ORDERED that the sentence is affirmed.

A defendant who has validly waived the right to appeal cannot invoke this Court's interest of justice jurisdiction to obtain review of the severity of his or her sentence (see People v Lopez, 6 N.Y.3d 248, 255). Here, however, the Court is not precluded from exercising its interest of justice jurisdiction because the defendant's purported waiver of his right to appeal was invalid. The record does not demonstrate that the defendant "grasped the concept of the appeal waiver and the nature of the right he was foregoing" (People v Bradshaw, 18 N.Y.3d 257, 267; see People v Grant, 83 A.D.3d 862, 862-863; cf. People v Ramos, 7 N.Y.3d 737, 738). Therefore, "notwithstanding the written appeal waiver form it cannot be said that defendant knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived his right to appeal" (People v Bradshaw, 18 N.Y.3d at 267; see People v Elmer, 19 N.Y.3d 501, 510; People v Vasquez, 101 A.D.3d 1054).

Nevertheless, the sentence imposed was not excessive (see People v Suitte, 90 A.D.2d 80).

ENG, P.J., MASTRO, DICKERSON, LOTT and MILLER, JJ., concur.


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