US Supreme Court issues 2 opinions

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Yesterday the Court issued an opinion in Knowles v. Mirzayance.  Justice Thomas authored a unanimous opinion as to the result and the finding of no prejudice, and a 6-3 decision on an issue of whether counsel's performance was deficient.  The Court reversed a decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which had held that trial counsel was ineffective for counseling a client to withdraw a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity after concluding that such a theory was not viable.

Today the Court issued an opinion in Puckett v. United States.  In the 7-2 decision, authored by Justice Scalia, the Court held that under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 52(b), a defendant was obligated to object at a sentence hearing to the State's violation of the plea agreement.  Because the defendant failed to do so, a plain-error standard of review was applied to the unpreserved issue.  Justice Souter issued a dissenting opinion which was joined by Justice Stevens.


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This page contains a single entry by JoNell published on March 25, 2009 10:55 AM.

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