Rule 32 Arizona Post Conviction Relief

"In Arizona, the appeal is the post-conviction proceeding of primary importance. the right to appeal is guaranteed by our constitution, Ariz. Const. art. 2, 24, but the Rule 32 procedure is not. ... Rule 32 is separate and apart from the right to appeal, and it is not designed to afford a second appeal." State v. Carriger, 143 Ariz. 142, 145, 692 P.2d 991, 994 (1984), cert. denied, 471 U.S. 1111, 85 L. Ed. 2d 864, 105 S. Ct. 2347 (1985). Nonetheless, post-conviction-relief ("PCR") proceedings are critical because, while an "appeal is designed to give prompt, full appellate review to those who have grounds to believe they have not had a fair trial, ... Rule 32 'is designed to accommodate the unusual situation where justice ran its course and yet went awry.'" Id. at 146, 692 P.2d at 995. In accord with art. 2, 24, however, that rule17.1(e) specifically allows the defendant to "seek review ... by filing a petition for post-conviction relief pursuant to Rule 32." Ariz. R. Crim. P. 17.1(e); Wilson v. Ellis, 176 Ariz. 121, 123, 859 P.2d 744, 746 (1993) ("It was precisely because of art. 2, 24 that this court expressly left open the avenue of appellate review by PCR in lieu of direct appeal when it amended the rules with respect to cases involving guilty pleas."). Thus, for such defendants, including the defendants in the cases before us, a Rule 32 proceeding is the only means available for exercising the constitutional right to appellate review. As we recently explained, "that right cannot be waived merely by a plea or admission." Wilson, 176 Ariz. at 123, 859 P.2d at 746. Montgomery v. Sheldon, 181 Ariz. 256, 258-59, 889 P.2d 614, 616-17 (1995), op. supp., 182 Ariz. 118, 893 P.2d 1281 (1995). Rule 32 incorporates this appeal right: "Any person who pled guilty . . . shall have the right to file a post-conviction relief proceeding, and this proceeding shall be known as a Rule 32 of-right proceeding." Ariz. R. Crim. P. 32.1. Thus, even though this matter is a post-conviction relief proceeding, by virtue of Article 2, Section 24 of the Arizona Constitution, as interpreted by Montgomery, it is the functional equivalent of a direct appeal.