Defendant appealed his conviction for drug offenses, arguing that the district court violated his Sixth Amendment rights by allowing his attorney to withdraw, failing to appoint a new attorney, and failing to warn defendant about the risks of proceeding pro se.
Where defendant’s plea agreement contained an appeal waiver, the court enforced the waiver where the record showed defendant knowingly and voluntarily entered the plea agreement, as his issues on appeal, to the extent they raised ineffective assistance of counsel claims, were not cognizable on direct appeal.
Kelly, J., dissenting: “Everyone agrees that Williams has raised a non-jurisdictional issue that falls within the scope of his appeal waiver: he seeks a remand because he was denied counsel at his sentencing hearing. The question is whether enforcing the otherwise valid appeal waiver in this case would result in a miscarriage of justice…Because I believe the complete denial of counsel at sentencing falls within this narrow exception, I respectfully dissent.”
Appeal is dismissed.
U.S. v. Williams (MLW No. 80490/Case No. 22-2782 – 11 pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Gruender, J.) Appealed from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas, Wilson, J. (Geoffrey Davis Kearney, of Pine Bluff, AR, for appellant) (Anne E. Gardner, AUSA, of Little Rock, AR, for appellee)