Brief Amicus Curiae of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Petitioner (On Petition for a Writ of Certiorari).
Argument: Martinez recognized that its equitable remedy is necessary to ensure that state post-conviction counsel adequately protects the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. The right to effective assistance of counsel is a bedrock principle in our criminal justice system. Martinez mandates federal judicial review of trial counsel ineffectiveness where state post-conviction counsel performed in a constitutionally deficient manner. The Fourth Circuit’s application of “Fair Presentation” principles eviscerates Martinez. Certiorari is warranted to provide clarity to lower courts and practitioners, and enforce this Court’s mandate in Martinez. Courts of Appeals are divided on how to apply Martinez. Lower courts and practitioners require guidance on how the Supreme Court interprets Martinez.