About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

37 Colum. J.L. & Soc. Probs. 1 (2003-2004)
Queen for a Day Agreements and the Proper Scope of Permissible Waiver of the Federal Plea-Statement Rules

handle is hein.journals/collsp37 and id is 11 raw text is: Queen for a Day Agreements and
the Proper Scope of Permissible
Waiver of the Federal
Plea-Statement Rules
Proffer agreements, colloquially known as Queen for a Day agreements,
govern the conditions under which prospective criminal defendants and
the government agree to conduct an interview. These agreements generally
require criminal defendants, who hope to gain leniency through a reduced
sentence or immunity grant, to waive their plea-statement rights, and they
permit, in certain circumstances, the prosecution to introduce previously
inadmissible proffer statements at trial. Since the Supreme Court's deci-
sion in United States v. Mezzanatto, the terms of Queen for a Day agree-
ments have grown in scope and restrictiveness, dramatically extending the
range of use of proffer statements by the government. Absent clear guid-
ance, federal courts presently vary in their approach to waiver of the plea-
statement Rules and have upheld the use of proffer statements not only for
impeachment, but also for rebuttal (even where the defendant has not testi-
fied) and as substantive evidence in the government's case-in-chief (solely
in response to defense counsel advocacy). This Note contends that the
scope of permissible waiver of Federal Rule of Evidence 410 and Federal
Rule of Criminal Procedure 11() requires sharper articulation. Specifi-
cally, it argues that the terms of Queen for a Day agreements should be
limited to permit waiver of the plea-statement Rules only for the purposes
of (1) impeachment of a criminal defendant who testifies at variance with
the proffer, and (2) rebuttal of defense witness testimony that materially
and explicitly conflicts with the proffer. The scope of permissible waiver
* Head Writing & Research Editor, COLUM. J.L. & SOC. PROBS., 2003-2004. The
author is grateful to Professors John C. Coffee, Jr., Robert A. Ferguson, Daniel C.
Richman, and Paul Shechtman for their comments and invaluable suggestions. Special
thanks to the Journal staff and editors for their hard work in bringing the Note to final
form, in particular Jacob J. Waldman, and finally to Olivia A. Radin.

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing thousands of academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.

Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline.

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most