Aragon v. Wilkinson

In Aragon v. Wilkinson, 209 Ariz. 61, 97 P.3d 886 (App. 2004), the parties entered into a plea agreement. Id. at 63, P 2, 97 P.3d at 888. The trial court accepted the plea agreement and scheduled sentencing for July 9, 2004. Id. Prior to sentencing, on June 24, Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296, 124 S. Ct. 2531, 159 L. Ed. 2d 403 (2004) was decided. Id. at 63-64, P 3, 97 P.3d at 888-89. In light of Blakely, the state asked Aragon to amend the plea agreement by signing a waiver of her Sixth Amendment right to have a jury determine facts that might be used to support the imposition of an aggravated sentence. Id. She declined, and the state moved to withdraw from the plea agreement. Id. at P 4. The trial court granted the motion and Aragon brought a special action to this court. Id. One of the arguments advanced by the state was that Aragon had breached the plea agreement when she refused to sign a waiver of her jury right pursuant to Blakely. Id. at 65, P 11, 97 P.3d 890. The Court rejected that argument and stated: The State contends that because Aragon pleaded guilty to avoid putting the victim through the trauma of a jury trial, Aragon's refusal to waive her Sixth Amendment rights breaches her agreement not to subject the victim to a trial, thereby permitting the State to withdraw from the agreement. We disagree. Aragon waived her right to a jury trial for the guilt phase of the proceedings. She did not agree to waive any right to a jury trial for the sentencing phase should the law require one before an aggravated sentence can be imposed. Thus, she did not breach any term of the agreement. Id. at P 12.