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State v. Solano

724 P.2d 17 (1986)

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State v. Solano

Arizona Supreme Court

724 P.2d 17 (1986)

Facts

Richard Solano (defendant), Vickie Hurst-Solano (defendant), and Guy Lindstrom were charged with possession of cocaine for sale and possession of marijuana. The three co-defendants negotiated a package-deal plea agreement, which is a plea bargain that conditions each defendant’s plea on the court’s acceptance of the other co-defendants’ pleas. The package-deal plea agreement required (1) Solano to receive a 63-month prison sentence for possession of cocaine for sale, with parole available after at least five years, and (2) Hurst-Solano and Lindstrom to each plead guilty to a lesser charge of cocaine possession for five years of incarceration. Under Arizona law, Solano would receive the minimum possible penalty for possession of cocaine for sale, and Hurst-Solano and Lindstrom would receive the maximum possible penalty for cocaine possession. The sentencing court noted that the presentence report recommended a lesser sentence for Hurst-Solano and Lindstrom but concluded that the court was powerless to interfere and sentenced all three defendants to the plea terms. Solano and Hurst-Solano, a married couple, filed separate appeals that the appellate court consolidated. The appellate court vacated Solano’s and Hurst-Solano’s sentences, finding that package-deal plea agreements violate both Arizona statutes and public policy. The Arizona Supreme Court granted the government’s (plaintiff) petition for review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cameron, J.)

Dissent (Gordon, J.)

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