Brief filed: 09/21/2020
Walters v. Martin
4th Circuit Court of Appeals; Case No. 19-7391
Walters’ counsel’s utter failure to communicate constructively denied him counsel so prejudice should be presumed. Alternatively, Mr. Walters established prejudice under Strickland and Frye resulting from his counsel’s pervasive neglect. There is a reasonable probability that the favorable March plea offer would have been accepted and entered if counsel had communicated with Mr. Walters. If Mr. Stanley’s deficient performance is instead viewed as a series of separate errors, Strickland compels a cumulative consideration of prejudice.
Ruthanne M. Deutsch, Hyland Hunt, Washington, DC; Elizabeth A. Franklin-Best, NACDL, Columbia, SC; David B. Smith, NACDL, Alexandria, VA.