State v. Reid (1987)

In State v. Reid, 204 Conn. 52, 526 A.2d 528 (1987), the defendant pleaded guilty to one count of robbery in the first degree and one count of larceny in the first degree. In exchange for the plea, the defendant, who was cooperating with the prosecuting authorities, entered into an agreement with the state for a sentence of fifteen to eighteen years, with the right to argue for less at sentencing. State v. Reid, supra, 204 Conn. at 53. At the time of sentencing, the state recommended a sentence of fifteen years, the minimum under the plea agreement. Id. The sentencing judge, who was a different judge than the judge who had accepted the defendant's plea, sentenced the defendant to twenty years incarceration on each count, to run concurrently, suspended after ten years, plus five years of probation. Id. The defendant appealed from the judgment, claiming that the sentence did not comply with the terms of the plea agreement that he had entered into with the state. Id., 204 Conn. at 54. In setting aside the judgment, the Court held: "The sentence imposed, while it carried a lesser period of immediate incarceration than the sentence recommended by the state's attorney, potentially required the defendant to serve five years more than he had bargained for. Further, the plea agreement did not include a period of probation and there is nothing to indicate that a period of probation had been agreed to or anticipated by the defendant. "A suspended sentence and a period of probation are not inconsequential adjuncts of the sentence imposed that can be ignored or, like castor oil, be considered to have been administered for the defendant's own good. Probation is a criminal sentence and the conditions attached to probation involve serious restraints on a probationer's life-style, associations, movements and activities. . . . Violations of those conditions, furthermore, would expose the defendant to a sentence substantially in excess of the agreed upon sentence which induced his . . . pleas." Id., 204 Conn. at 55-57. In Reid, the plea agreement that the defendant entered into was a straight sentence, confinement for a period of fifteen to eighteen years. As the Court noted, "there was nothing to indicate that a period of probation had been agreed to or anticipated by the defendant." Id., at 55.