If a plea is not knowing and voluntary, then due process has been denied. See McCarthy v. United States, 394 U.S. 459, 466, 22 L. Ed. 2d 418, 89 S. Ct. 1166 (1969); State v. Davis, 823 S.W.2d 217, 220 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1991).To understand what is meant by a "knowing and voluntary" plea, it helps to understand the nature of a guilty plea.
And if that’s true, then it’s hard to see how the colloquy on the two elements, which most certainly did not address the negation of intentional conduct, was adequate on these particular facts. The guilty plea defendant must “possess an understanding of ‘the law in relation to the facts,’” Nash v. Israel, 707 F.3d 298, 302 (7th Cir. 1983), quotingMcCarthy v. United States, 394 U.S. 459, 466 (1969). Not clear, in other words, just how rigorously the court applied that principle here.
Pp.710.(b)Vonn attempts to find support for his reading by pointing beyond the Rules text to McCarthy v. United States, 394 U.S. 459which was decided when Rule 11 was relatively primitiveand the developments in that cases wake culminating in Rule 11(h)s enactment. One clearly expressed Rule 11(h) objective was to end the practice of reversing automatically for any Rule 11 error, a practice stemming from reading McCarthy expansively to require that Rule 52(a)s harmless-error provision could not be applied in Rule 11 cases.