The Court of Appeals, over an extensive two-judge dissenting opinion, determined (1) the validity of a guilty plea is not properly raised in the Court of Appeals after the appellate division has affirmed the defendant’s legal sentence, and (2) where a sentence is legal, an excessive-sentence claim is beyond the scope of the Court of Appeals:
Defendant’s challenge to the validity of his plea is not properly raised on this appeal from an Appellate Division order affirming a sentence, pursuant to 22 NYCRR § 670.11 (b) (see CPL 450.30 ; 470.35 ; People v Pagan, 19 NY3d 368, 370-371 ). Defendant’s sentence—an authorized prison term with post-release supervision—is not illegal, and any excessive sentence claim is beyond the scope of this Court’s review (see People v Veale, 78 NY2d 1022, 1023-1024 ). The many dissenting opinions cited by the dissent provide no support for a different result (see dissenting op at 6, 8-11). People v Laboriel, 2022 NY Slip Op 03863, CtApp 6-14-22
Practice Point: The affirmance of a legal sentence by the appellate division does not give the Court of Appeals the authority to review the validity of a guilty plea.
Practice Point: If a sentence is legal, an excessive-sentence claim is beyond the scope of the Court of Appeals.