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Posts tagged "Habeas Corpus"

Supreme Court Expands Right to Effective Assistance of Counsel for Defendants Facing Deportation

The Sixth Amendment guarantees defendants the right to effective assistance of counsel during all "critical stages" of a criminal proceeding. In the context of plea negotiations, this means that criminal defense attorneys must convey plea offers to their client in a timely fashion and give adequate advice about the consequences of accepting or rejecting the offer. The United States Supreme Court previously held, in a case called Padilla v. Kentucky, that this duty extends to advice about the immigration consequences of entering a plea. In an opinion rendered last week, Lee v. United States, the Supreme Court held that bad advice about immigration consequences can support post-conviction relief, even in situations where the defendant did not have any reasonable hope of winning at trial.

Is It Too Late to File Your Federal Habeas Petition?

When a criminal defendant wants to challenge a state court conviction, the highest state court is rarely the last stop. Prisoners who have exhausted their options in state court can often get a second chance at challenging their trial court's errors through a petition for habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. ยง 2254. Federal habeas petitions can only challenge a state court's conviction for constitutional violations. However, even violations of state rules of criminal procedure can take on a constitutional dimension through the Sixth Amendment's guarantee to effective assistance of counsel, if the defendant's attorney failed to raise those issues or argue them properly. 

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