Campos: Padilla is an “old rule”, applies retroactively


In a well-reasoned and potentially significant opinion, the Minnesota Court of Appeals has held that Padilla did not announce a “new rule” of constitutional criminal procedure and therefore applies retroactively.  In Campos v. State (Case No. A10-1395), the defendant, a legal permanent resident, pleaded to simple robbery and received a sentence of “365 days in the workhouse”, which, under immigration law, rendered the defendant deportable.  The defendant later sought to withdraw his plea claiming ineffective assistance of counsel under Padilla.  The trial court denied his motion, finding that Padilla could not be applied retroactively and that, in any event, the defendant did not receive ineffective assistance.  The sole issue on appeal was whether the trial court erred in deciding that Padilla could not be applied retroactively.

Here is the operative passage on Padilla retroactivity in Campos:

Campos argues that Padilla merely applied the long-standing principles regarding ineffective assistance of counsel enunciated in Strickland to specific facts and did not announce a new rule of constitutional criminal procedure. We agree. Given (1) the procedural posture of Padilla (a collateral attack on a guilty plea); (2) the clear references in the opinion to its application to collateral proceedings attacking guilty pleas; (3) the analysis under long-standing principles of the right to effective assistance of counsel; and (4) the absence of any mention of retroactivity, the conclusion that the opinion does not announce a new rule of criminal procedure seems self-evident to this court. See Padilla, 559 U.S. at ___, 130 S. Ct. at 1478 (stating “[i]n this postconviction proceeding . . . ); 1485–86 (discussing “nature of relief secured by a successful collateral challenge to a guilty plea” and “collateral challenge to a conviction”).

It is notable that at the time the Supreme Court decided Padilla, Minnesota state law, like that of many other states, only required counsel to advise a defendant on the “direct consequences” of a guilty plea, deportation not being one such consequence.  Recognizing that this doctrine had been “effectively overruled” by Padilla, the Campos court still found that Padilla did not constitute a “new rule” for retroactivity purposes.  Why?  Two reasons: because Padilla itself involved a collateral attack on a final conviction and also because a new rule is not invariably established every time Strickland is applied to a new set of facts as was the case in Padilla.

The decision in Campos can be downloaded here.

One response to “Campos: Padilla is an “old rule”, applies retroactively

  1. Pingback: Issue of Padilla Retroactivity Heating Up In State Appellate Courts | Invisible Man

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