Plea Of Guilty To Capital offense; Reception Of Evidence

Section 3.

Improvident Plea
- It is a plea without information as to all the circumstances affecting it; based upon a mistaken assumption or misleading information or advice.

Duty Of The Court When Accused Pleads Guilty To A Capital Offense:
1. Conduct a searching inquiry into the voluntariness and full comprehension of the consequences of the plea.
2. Require prosecution to present evidence to prove the guilt and precise degree of culpability of the accused.
3. Ask the accused if he desires to present evidence in his behalf and allow him to do so if he desires.

Elements Of Searching Inquiry
1. The judge must convince himself that accused is entering the plea voluntarily and intelligently
2. The judge must convince himself that there exists a rational basis for the finding of guilt based on the accused’s testimony
3. Inform the accused of the exact length of imprisonment and the certainty that he will serve it in a national penitentiary

Effects of Improvident Plea
- The conviction will be set aside if the plea of guilty is the sole basis for the judgment.

However, the court may validly convict the accused if such conviction is supported by adequate evidence of guilt independent of the plea itself.