State v. Visser

In State v. Visser, 2000 UT 88, 22 P.3d 1242, the Court held that the trial court strictly complied with rule 11 even though it did not specifically inform the defendant of his "right to a speedy public trial before an impartial jury." Taking into account the context of the plea, the Court held that because the trial court's colloquy provided an adequate basis to conclude that the rule 11 requirements had been fulfilled, the court's omission of the words "speedy" and "impartial" did not justify withdrawal of the defendant's plea. Id. In Visser, when faced with the question of whether the district court strictly complied with rule 11(e), we concluded that recitation of the phrase "speedy trial" was not necessary to properly communicate the concept of a speedy trial to the defendant. In so doing, we rejected the notion that rule 11(e) rights must be mechanically recited to the defendant and instead reemphasized that the concepts found in rule 11(e) may be communicated to the defendant using a variety of means. Id. In Visser, the defendant indicated that he wished to enter a guilty plea after his trial began. Id. In response, the district court conducted a plea colloquy. Although it informed Visser that he had "a right to continue his trial through to a jury verdict," the district court did not specifically recite the phrase "speedy trial." Id. After completing the colloquy, the district court accepted Visser's guilty plea. Id. The day after his plea was entered, however, Visser moved to withdraw it. Id. The district court denied Visser's motion. Id. Reversing that denial, the court of appeals held that the district court failed to strictly comply with rule 11(e) because it did not "specifically inform defendant . . . of his right to a speedy trial before an impartial jury." State v. Visser, 1999 UT App 19, 973 P.2d 998. The Court reversed the court of appeals, holding that Visser's trial experience prior to entering his guilty plea "communicated at least as much as would the mere oral recitation of the 'right to a speedy public trial before an impartial jury.'"