Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Rebecca A. Sharpless (pictured) and Andrew Stanton (University of Miami - School of Law and Office of the Public Defender for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida) have posted Padilla Postconviction Claims in Florida: Squaring Chaidez, Hernandez and Castaño on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
In Padilla v. Kentucky, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Sixth Amendment requires defense attorneys to counsel their noncitizen clients about the immigration consequences of a plea. Padilla had pled guilty in state court to a drug crime and, after his conviction became final, filed a state postconviction motion alleging that his attorney rendered ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to advise him that his plea would trigger deportation. In holding that Padilla was entitled to competent advice regarding the consequences of his plea, the Court recognized what professional norms have required for at least the last two decades. Padilla left undecided a number of important issues, however, including the critical question of whether that case applies to other noncitizen defendants whose pleas predate March 31, 2010, when the Court issued its opinion.On November 1, 2012, the Court heard argument in Chaidez v. United States, a case raising this question in the context of a writ of coram nobis under 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a) involving a federal conviction. Without waiting for the outcome of Chaidez, the Florida Supreme Court has weighed in on Padilla postconviction claims. On November 21, 2012, that court decided three cases involving state convictions with pre-Padilla pleas in which postconviction motions were filed in state court. These cases — Hernandez v. State, Diaz v. State, and Castaño v. State — have two primary holdings. First, the court ruled in favor of the petitioners to hold that the generic judicial warning under Criminal Rule 3.172(b)(8) that deportation “may” result from a plea does not automatically cure the prejudice of defense counsel’s deficient performance when deportation was not just possible but “presumptively mandatory.” Second, the court ruled against two of the three petitioners to hold that the “new rule” established by Padilla was not “retroactive,” and carved out an exception to find in favor of the third petitioner, Castaño. This article addresses how the possible outcomes of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Chaidez will affect Padilla postconviction motions in Florida state court, given the Florida Supreme Court’s November 21, 2012 decisions.