Mr. Baez’s only hope was to plead guilty to the case.” Similarly, the
court called the affidavit’s assertion that defendant was “despondent”
at Granich’s removal “a lie.” The court noted that defendant was
“pleasant and happy when he left this courtroom that day.”
Finally, the court summarized its findings:
“Mr. Baez always wanted to plead guilty in this case. He
never retained Mr. Granich. Mr. Granich misled this court
when I first appointed him. It was certainly a mistake on my
part, which I corrected immediately.
It had nothing to do with the Capital Crimes Litigation
Fund. I mean my decision had nothing to do with it. My
decision was that the defendant had not retained counsel. If he
had retained counsel and paid for him to represent him,
certainly he would have had the right to keep him if he paid
him. He did not.
He has the right to counsel, but not counsel of his
choosing unless he retains them. When he is appointed
counsel, then the Court appoints counsel that they believe
should be appointed, and that is, in my mind, the public
In terms of his guilty plea, it was freely and voluntarily
entered. There was no mistake of law on his part. There was
no mistake of law in this case. He did not plead guilty because
his, quote, unquote, champion had been removed. He pled
guilty because he wanted, quote, closure, as he said, in his
mind for the horrendous offenses that he had perpetrated on
two innocent people.
Of course, the demands on my calendar, as I said, were
certainly an issue in this case, that I was going to have the
case delayed, possibly substitute counsel and a lawyer who
didn’t know when or if he was coming back.
* * *
Again, as I said, the defendant in this case wanted to plead
guilty, always wanted to plead guilty, was never denied a right
to counsel. He pled guilty because he had no choice. He was
going to be convicted, and anyone who heard the facts of this
case was going to sentence Mr. Baez to death.”
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