What to do about a videotaped confession and a guilty plea?

My friend pled guilty to first degree burglary in the state of Iowa due to the prosecutions possession of a video confession. He was Mirandized yet still confessed and ended up pleading guilty and receiving a 25 year 85% mandatory sentence. He has tried one appeal to have the confession throw out for reason of intoxication by marijuana and duress due to his bi-polar disorder. He also tried to appeal the decision to convict him of 2 counts of burglary based off the presence of the 2 victims involved in the incident. Is it possible to appeal to have the video evidence discounted, the guilty plea, or the trying for 2 counts? What is the best way to approach an appeal. Beside the video tape, there is little to no other evidence.

Asked on July 16, 2012 under Criminal Law, Iowa


Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

These are all issues that your friend's attorney should have challenged in pre-trial motions and evidentiary hearings in an attempt to have the confession suppressed or excluded from evidence on the grounds that it was not given knowingly and voluntarily.

Because he plead guilty, he will have to appeal the grounds for his plea, not the videotaped confession because this was never admitted into evidence because he had no trial. Appeals are based upon errors of law found either at trial, or during a person's plea of guilty before the judge. He would have to file an appeal on the grounds that his plea of guilty was not done knowingly and voluntarily. He needs to consult an appellate attorney to file this appellate motion for him.

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