More Padilla Retroactivity


I have been researching Padilla-related caselaw for an upcoming CLE presentation and came across another decision in which Padilla is found to have no retroactivity bar.  The case is Martin v. United States, Case No. 09-1387 (C.D. Ill. Aug. 25, 2010) and the judge in Michael Mihm.  The decision can be accessed here via Google Scholar.

From Martin:

[A]t the time Martin plead guilty and was sentenced, Santos and George remained binding upon the issue of whether counsel’s alleged failure to inform a defendant of the possible immigration consequences of a guilty plea amounted to ineffective assistance of counsel. The Government contends that Padilla v. Kentucky announced a new rule of criminal procedure that does not apply retroactively to cases on collateral review. See Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288, 309-10 (1989) (stating that “[a]pplication of constitutional rules not in existence at the time a conviction became final seriously undermines the principle of finality . . .” and holding that “[u]nless they fall within an exception to the general rule, new constitutional rules of criminal procedure will not be applicable to cases on collateral review which have become final before the new rules are announced”).

A “new rule” under Teague is one that “breaks new ground or imposes a new obligation on the States or the Federal Government.” Teague, 489 U.S. at 301; see also Butler v. McKellar, 494 U.S. 407, 412 (1990). In Padilla v. Kentucky, the Supreme Court considered the first prong of Strickland and discussed how prevailing professional norms suggest that counsel advise their clients of the possible deportation risks following a guilty plea. 130 S.Ct. at 1482. The Supreme Court also rejected the position that its holding should be limited to affirmative misadvice of counsel, noting that it is the “critical obligation of counsel to advise the client of `the advantages and disadvantages of a plea agreement.’” Id. at 1484 (citing Libretti v. United States, 516 U.S. 29, 50-51 (1995)). The Padilla case likely did not break new ground or impose new obligations given the Supreme Court’s emphasis on Strickland, prevailing professional norms, and the “long recognized” importance of the plea negotiation phase. Id. at 1482-86; see also Osagiede v. United States, 543 F.3d 399, 408 n. 4 (7th Cir. 2008) (explaining that Teague presented no problem in a case where the defendant argued ineffective assistance of counsel for a Vienna Convention Article 36 violation because “counsel’s duty to know the applicable law, at least when it matters to his client’s defense, has been clearly established by Strickland and its progeny”). Padilla v. Kentucky therefore applies to Martin’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel for his counsel’s alleged failure to fully inform him of the possible immigration consequences of his guilty plea.

As you can see, for whatever reason, the Martin court’s retroactivity analysis is rather limited.  Nevertheless, it makes clear that Padilla did not create a new rule and therefore is applicable to final convictions which predated the date of the Padilla decision.

Now can someone explain to me how to square this holding with the one in Shafeek?!  See my prior blog post for more details.

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