Sometimes criminal defense attorneys mess up. But just what, if any, constitutional remedy is available to defendants when their attorneys are ineffective at the plea bargaining stage?
During oral arguments in the case Lafler v. Cooper, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court appeared skeptical of a claim by a murder defendant – who rejected a plea based on an attorney’s bad advice and went on to be convicted by a jury – that he was entitled to constitutional relief.
The case involves a murder charge against Anthony Cooper, who allegedly shot a woman as she ran away from him. After a preliminary hearing, the prosecutor made a verbal plea offer of assault with intent to murder and a recommended 51 months in prison, which is below the sentencing-guidelines minimum.
Tagged with: U.S. Supreme Court
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