Cert granted, summary decision issued in DP cases

Lawyer tells defendant not to accept a plea deal that would spare him the death penalty. Defendant does not accept the plea deal. Defendant is tried and convicted in a fair trial and gets the death penalty. Now what?

The Supreme Court today ruled to consider that question by granting a petition for writ of certiorari in Arave v. Hoffman. The case considers whether the 9th Circuit erred in finding that the defendant was ineffectively represented by counsel when the defendant failed to allege that he would have accepted a plea agreement but for his attorney’s advice.

In the order granting cert, the Court added another question for the parties to argue in the case: “What, if any, remedy should be provided for ineffective assistance of counsel during plea bargain negotiations if the defendant was later convicted and sentenced pursuant to a fair trial?” For the full list of today’s orders, click here [PDF file]. More on the facts behind the case from the Associated Press here.

The Court also today issued a per curiam decision in Allen v. Siebert [PDF file] another capital case whose cert petition was pending. The Court held that a state post-conviction petition that is dismissed as untimely does not toll the one-year statute of limitations for filing a federal habeas petition under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. Justices John Paul Stevens, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, dissented.

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