Judge Involved In Plea Negotiations Consequences

In McDonald v. State, 751 So. 2d 56, 59 (Fla. 2d DCA 1999), the court held that "when the judge has been involved in the plea negotiations and then later imposes a harsher sentence, the sentence is presumed to be vindictive." That is a reasonable method of dispelling a defendant's legitimate fear of retribution should he exercise his constitutional right to a jury trial. The supreme court may well have had such a presumption in mind when it required that "a record must be made of all plea discussions involving the court." See State v. Warner, 762 So. 2d 507, 514 (Fla. 2000).