Brief filed: 07/22/2020
Edwards v. Vannoy
United States Supreme Court; Case No. 19-5807
Decision below 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 39314 (5th Cir. May 20, 2019)
Like Gideon v. Wainwright (the only case the Supreme Court has recognized as falling within Teague v. Lane’s watershed rule exception), Ramos v. Louisiana is a watershed rule and therefore, under Teague v. Lane, applies retroactivity to cases on collateral federal review. Ramos, like Gideon, overturned a badly flawed, errant precedent to restore a bedrock Sixth Amendment right. Ramos, like Gideon also increases the accuracy of convictions, when accuracy is properly understood to refer to the fairness of the process and the likelihood that the defendant received procedural protections guaranteed by the Constitution, rather than the likelihood that actual guilt or innocence is determined.
Laura G. Ferguson, Timothy P. O’Toole of Miller & Chevalier Chartered, Washington, DC; Barbara Bergman, NACDL, Tucson, AZ.