Articles Tagged with ineffective assistance of counsel

Today the court will hear oral argument in Premo v. Moore, a case with potential ramifications for court-martials.  Courtesy of SCOTUSBlog here is a summary:

The Sixth Amendment secures a criminal defendant’s right to effective assistance of counsel.  Under Strickland v. Washington (1984), that right is violated when a lawyer’s performance falls below an objective standard of reasonableness, resulting in prejudice to the defendant.  Counsel’s representation is prejudicial when there is a reasonable probability that, but for the lawyer’s deficiencies, the proceeding would have ended differently.  Some defendants accept a plea bargain and then argue that their counsel was ineffective; in those cases, Hill v. Lockhart (1985) instructs a court to ask whether there is a reasonable probability that the defendant would have gone to trial had his counsel been constitutionally adequate.  When the Court hears argument tomorrow in Premo v. Moore (09-658), it will attempt to clarify how Strickland and Hill apply to plea deals that are made after counsel fails to suppress an unconstitutionally obtained confession.

For those who want to go right to the papers here is the SCOTUSBlog page.

In United States v. Darling, ACCA affirmed because appellant could not establish the prejudice prong of an IAC “claim.”  This is worth reading for those cases where the accused is found not guilty after a contested case, but during sentencing there is a concession that the accused was actually guilty.  For the defense counsel this case addresses the issues of how to do sentencing and try to get a lower sentence.

Appellate defense counsel initially raised one assignment of error to this court – that appellant’s conviction for uttering checks with intent to defraud was legally and factually insufficient. Upon our initial review, we specified the following issues:

I.

On Wednesday, ACCA will hear oral argument in United States v. Vargaspuentas, No. ARMY 20091096, on these three interesting issues:

I.  WHETHER APPELLANT’S TRIAL DEFENSE COUNSEL INFORMED HIM HIS GUILTY PLEA MIGHT RESULT IN DEPORTATION.

II.  WHETHER COUNSEL’S ADVICE REGARDING DEPORTATION WAS INEFFECTIVE. SEE PADILLA V. KENTUCKY, 08-651 (2010); STRICKLAND V. WASHINGTON, 466 U.S. 668 (1984); HILL V. LOCKHART, 474 U.S. 52 (1985).

Just the other day, alerted by SCOTUSBlog I posted Jones v. Williams as a case to watch at SCOTUS.  The issue once again:

Issue: Whether the Tenth Circuit violated 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1) by granting habeas relief for ineffective assistance of counsel during plea bargain negotiations to a defendant who was later convicted and sentenced in a fair trial, on the ground that the remedy the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals gave to the defendant was constitutionally inadequate, given that the Supreme Court has not clearly established what remedy, if any, is appropriate for ineffective assistance of counsel in such a case.

Now courtesy of the New York Times here is an article that defense counsel, trial counsel, and SJA’s may want to read.  It’s a cautionary tale, or perhaps just entertaining.

SCOTUSBlog has the 3 June 2010 petitions to watch at SCOTUS.  Here is an interesting one.

Title: Jones v. Williams
Docket: 09-948
Issue: Whether the Tenth Circuit violated 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1) by granting habeas relief for ineffective assistance of counsel during plea bargain negotiations to a defendant who was later convicted and sentenced in a fair trial, on the ground that the remedy the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals gave to the defendant was constitutionally inadequate, given that the Supreme Court has not clearly established what remedy, if any, is appropriate for ineffective assistance of counsel in such a case.

The relevant “facts.” image

NMCCA has it’s opinion in United States v. Denedo, the petition for error coram nobis that his been winding its way through the courts, include the United States Supreme Court.

Essentially the court finds that even if there were IAC, petitioner has not established prejudice.

Back to CAAF?

Sane or insane, Major Hasan’s mental state before and during his alleged offenses will be raised in his court-martial.  Death penalty cases are different so sayeth they U.S. Supreme Court.  Everything must be raised that could possibly have some impact on either the finding of guilt to a capital charge or in sentencing.  The Supreme Court decision in Porter v. McCollum makes it clear that failure to raise mental health issues, including PTSD, will likely lead to a finding of ineffective assistance of counsel.  A distinction can be argued between Porter and Hasan — one was in combat, the other about to get into vicarious PTSD issues.  But any competent attorney for Major Hasan has to consider the mental health issues as vital to the defense presentation. 

Been gone for a family emergency so I won’t go too far back.  But . . .

DoD reports that:

NMCCA has issued six new decisions, of which four are merits.

United States v. Maharrey, post-trial delay case.

United States v. Thornton.  Appellant raises ineffective assistance of counsel (IAC) and sufficiency of the evidence.  The findings and sentence are set-aside based on the IAC.  The IAC relates to several issues:  failure to properly advise on forum; failure to prepare appellant to testify; failure to cross-examine some witnesses.  A DuBay (United States v. DuBay, 37 C.M.R. 411 (1986)) hearing was ordered.  The military judge found several issues of IAC.  The DuBay judge did not agree with all the allegations of IAC.

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