Monday, September 16, 2013

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Applies Padilla v Kentucky Retroactively


Christopher N. Lasch on the crImmigration blog writes about a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision last week holding that the  U.S. Supreme Court decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010), applies retroactively in Massachusetts. Padilla, of course, held that an ineffective assistance of counsel claim could be based on counsel's failure to explain to a noncitizen the immigration consequences of a guilty plea in a criminal case.

Professor Lasch authored an amicus brief in the Massachustts case for law professors. The Padilla retroactivity issue remains pending in several other state supreme courts, including New Mexico, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, and Tennessee.

UPDATE (September 18):  The New Mexico Supreme Court granted leave for a four New Mexico legal academics and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild to file an amicus brief in Ramirez v. State, in which the New Mexico Supreme Court must decide the question recently decided in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Sylvain: Whether Padilla v. Kentucky applies retroactively as a matter of state law, despite the U.S. Supreme Court's holding in Chaidez v. United States that Padilla does not apply retroactively as a matter of federal law. The New Mexico amicus brief can be accessed here.


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