Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ineffective Assistance

The Supreme Court of the State of Washington has held that a defense attorney's erroneous advice to a non-citizen regarding the deportation consequences of a guilty warranted reversal of the ensuing conviction. The court's majority opinion framed the issue:

The question presented is whether, in light of the United States Supreme Court's decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, ___ U.S. ___, 130 S. Ct. 1473, 176 L. Ed. 2d 284 (2010), a noncitizen criminal defendant can be denied the right to  effective assistance of counsel when  the defense attorney erroneously  assures the defendant  that the deportation consequence of a guilty plea can be mitigated.

The court answered in the affirmative. Concurring opinions are linked here and here. (Mike Frisch)

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