Brief filed: 08/16/2018
Garza v. Idaho
United States Supreme Court; Case No. 17-1026
Decision below 162 Idaho 791 (Nov. 6, 2017)
Does the “presumption of prejudice” recognized in Roe v. Flores-Ortega, 528 U.S. 470 (2000), apply where a criminal defendant instructs his trial counsel to file a notice of appeal but trial counsel decides not to do so because the defendant’s plea agreement included an appeal waiver?
A presumption of prejudice is appropriate because defendants often succeed on appeal despite waivers. Defendants often succeed on appeal based on issues beyond the scope of their particular waivers. Defendants often succeed on appeal even on claims within the scope of a waiver. The decisions below ignores the potential for meritorious claims even in cases involving appeal waivers. Postconviction proceedings are not an adequate substitute for direct appellate review. Claims that are not raised on direct appeal generally cannot be raised in postconviction proceedings. Higher standards apply in postconviction proceedings. There is no constitutional right to counsel in postconviction proceedings.
Lauren M. Weinstein and Robert K. Kry, MoloLamken LLP, Washington, DC; W. Alex Harris, MoloLamken LLP, New York, NY.