States v. Baldacchino
, 762 F.2d 170 (1st Cir. 1985);
Brooks v. United States
, 708 F.2d 1280 (7th Cir. 1983);
Palermo v. Warden, Green Haven State Prison
, 545 F.2d 286 (2d Cir. 1976), cert. dismissed, 431 U.S. 911, 97 S. Ct. 2166, 53 L. Ed. 2d 221 (1977). Courts should consider not only contract principles but also ensure that the plea bargaining process is “attended by safeguards to insure the defendant [receives] what is reasonably due in the circumstances.”
, 404 U.S. at 262. Thus, the government cannot resort to a rigidly literal approach in the construction of language.
United States v. Crusco
, 536 F.2d 21 (3d Cir. 1976); United
States v. Bowler
, 585 F.2d 851 (7th Cir. 1978). And, in recognition of the Government's “tremendous bargaining power,” plea agreements are construed strictly against the Government.
United States v. Elashyi
, 554 F.3d 480, 501 (5th Cir. 2008). And while the agreement in this case may be characterized as a “side agreement”, the fact that it is a side agreement does not negate its existence. Rather, the existence of a side agreement is a question of fact.
United States v. Kahley
, 1995 U.S. App. LEXIS 13602 (6th Cir. Ky. May 31, 1995). Here, Frazier has incontrovertible evidence of that agreement.
When examining whether the government has breached a plea agreement, a court must determine whether the government's conduct is inconsistent with what was reasonably understood by the defendant when entering the plea of guilty.
United States v. Hall
, 515 F.3d 186, 198 (3d Cir. 2008). “Accordingly, we will not permit the government to rely upon a 'rigidly literal' approach to the construction of the terms of the plea agreement.”
Although “[t]he government need not endorse the terms of its plea agreements enthusiastically,”
, it nonetheless “must adhere strictly to the terms of the bargain it strikes with defendants.”
United States v. Moscahlaidis
, 868 F.2d 1357, 1361 (3d Cir. 1989). Indeed, “the doctrine that the government must adhere to its bargain in the plea agreement is so fundamental that even though
United States v. Badaracco
, 954 F.2d 928, 941 (3d Cir. 1992).
Case 3:12-cr-00141-KS-FKB Document 89 Filed 02/25/14 Page 3 of 7