The Garridos plead guilty in Jaycee Dugard kidnapping.  Part of the sentence for both Garridos is they gave up all of their appeal rights.

If this plea for kidnapping or a sex crime took place in Pennsylvania, could they have given up their appellate rights? I think the answer is yes and no.

In Pennsylvania, there are two types of appeal: direct and PCRA (Post Conviction Relief Act). A direct appeal is what people normally think about when they want an appeal, that is to appeal a decision made by the judge in the trial or to appeal something the prosecutor did that was not fair during trial. A PCRA appeal is much different. The three main types of PCRA appeals that we see in our office are appealing some mistake that your own lawyer made, newly discovered evidence, or an illegal sentence.

I think that a defendant can give up their right to a direct appeal in consideration of a deal with the prosecutor. However, I do not believe that you can waive your PCRA rights. If the plea is illegal, if your lawyer tricked you into pleading guilty, or even if you can show that your plea was not voluntary, you may be able to file a PCRA even if you waive your appellate rights.

Brian J. Zeiger, Esquire, is an experienced and successful criminal defense and civil rights attorney. He is a seasoned trial lawyer with significant experience before juries and judges. Brian understands civil rights cases, including Taser, Wrongful Death, Excessive Force, Police Brutality, Police Misconduct, Malicious Prosecution, Monell Claims, Sexual Assault, Prisoner’s Rights, Time Credit, Medical Malpractice, and Medical Indifference.