Opinion of the Court
right to a jury trial, or his right to counsel even if the defendant does not know the specific questions the authorities intend to ask, who will likely serve on the jury, or the particular lawyer the State might otherwise provide. Cf. Colorado v. Spring, 479 U. S. 564, 573-575 (1987) (Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination waived when defendant received standard Miranda warnings regarding the nature of the right but not told the specific interrogation questions to be asked).
It is particularly difficult to characterize impeachment information as critical information of which the defendant must always be aware prior to pleading guilty given the random way in which such information may, or may not, help a particular defendant. The degree of help that impeachment information can provide will depend upon the defendant's own independent knowledge of the prosecution's potential case—a matter that the Constitution does not require prosecutors to disclose.
Second, we have found no legal authority embodied either in this Court's past cases or in cases from other circuits that provides significant support for the Ninth Circuit's decision. To the contrary, this Court has found that the Constitution, in respect to a defendant's awareness of relevant circumstances, does not require complete knowledge of the relevant circumstances, but permits a court to accept a guilty plea, with its accompanying waiver of various constitutional rights, despite various forms of misapprehension under which a defendant might labor. See Brady v. United States, 397 U. S., at 757 (defendant "misapprehended the quality of the State's case"); ibid. (defendant misapprehended "the likely penalties"); ibid. (defendant failed to "anticipate" a change in the law regarding relevant "punishments"); Mc-Mann v. Richardson, 397 U. S. 759, 770 (1970) (counsel "mis-judged the admissibility" of a "confession"); United States v. Broce, 488 U. S. 563, 573 (1989) (counsel failed to point out a potential defense); Tollett v. Henderson, 411 U. S. 258, 267Page: Index Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Next
Last modified: October 4, 2007