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United States v. Melancon

972 F.2d 566 (1992)

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United States v. Melancon

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

972 F.2d 566 (1992)

Facts

Brian Melancon (defendant) pleaded guilty in federal district court to conspiracy to distribute methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, or ecstasy). The district court held a hearing pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11 to colloquy Melancon regarding his understanding of the effects of his guilty plea. During the hearing, Melancon stated that he understood that by pleading guilty, he was intelligently and voluntarily waiving his right to appeal his sentence. Melancon’s plea agreement did not involve a specific promised sentence; instead, Melancon was assured only that the court would sentence him according to the federal sentencing guidelines, but the court also informed Melancon that the court could depart from the guidelines’ recommendation and that the maximum possibly penalty Melancon faced was 20 years of incarceration. After ensuring that Melancon understood these and other effects of his plea, the court imposed a sentence of nine years of incarceration. Melancon appealed, seeking review of his sentence. The government (plaintiff) argued that Melancon’s appeal had to be dismissed because Melancon had waived his right to appeal as part of his guilty plea.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Duhe, J.)

Concurrence (Parker, J.)

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