LOCATION: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
DOCKET NO.: 91-719
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1991-1993)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
CITATION: 506 US 20 (1992)
ARGUED: Oct 05, 1992
DECIDED: Dec 01, 1992
Ian G. Sonego - on behalf of the Petitioner
J. Gregory Clare - on behalf of the Respondent
John F. Manning - on behalf of the United States, as amicus curiae, supporting Petitioner
Facts of the case
Media for Parke v. RaleyAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 05, 1992 in Parke v. Raley
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - December 01, 1992 in Parke v. Raley
William H. Rehnquist:
The opinions of the Court in two cases will be announced by Justice O'Connor.
Sandra Day O'Connor:
The first of these is Parke against Raley, No. 91-719, and the case comes to us on writ of certiorary to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
In 1986, Ricky Harold Raley was charged with robbery and with being a persistent felony offender under a Kentucky statute that enhances sentences for repeat felons.
Raley moved to suppress the convictions that formed the basis of the charge.
He claimed they were invalid under Boykin against Alabama because they were based on guilty pleas for which no transcripts existed.
And so, the government could not affirmatively show that the pleas had been knowingly and voluntarily entered.
At the suppression hearing, the Trial Court, following Kentucky law, gave up presumption of regularity to the final judgments of conviction.
Although the ultimate burden of persuasion rested with Kentucky.
Raley was required to produce some evidence of the invalidity of the prior convictions.
Raley's suppression motion was denied and he was convicted as a persistent felony offender, and the Kentucky Court of Appeals affirmed.
It found that Raley was fully advised of his rights in 1979, and inferred that he remained aware of them in 1981.
Raley filed at federal habeas petition challenging the Kentucky procedure that assigned him the burden of production.
The District Court denied relief but the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, conditionally granted the writ with respect to the 1981 plea.
It held that, when no transcript of the plea colloqui is available that the government has the entire burden of proving the prior conviction validity by clear and convincing evidence.
For reasons explained in an opinion filed with Clerk today, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals.
Kentucky's burden shifting scheme satisfies due process.
Boykin's holding that a guilty plea is presumptively invalid on direct review, unless the record affirmatively shows otherwise, need not be extended to collateral proceedings such as these.
Kentucky's procedure is not fundamentally unfair in its operation, and neither historical nor contemporary practice suggests the contrary.
Our precedents permit the inference that Raley understood his rights in 1981 as they had been explained during the 1979.
And the finding that the 1981 plea was knowingly and voluntarily made is fairly supported by the record.
Justice Blackmun has filed an opinion concurring in the judgment.