My apologies for the delay in posts. I have been traveling and have only recently returned to good ‘ol Atlanta. Here are a few noteworthy court rulings on Padilla:
- The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has held in Commonwealth v. Clarke, Case No. SJC10888 (June 17, 2011) that Padilla announced an “old rule” and can therefore be applied retroactively. The Clarke court’s retroactivity analysis mirrored that of the Third Circuit’s in Orocio, which also found Padilla retroactively applicable, and it put to bed the notion that simply because a court applies Strickland to a new set of facts does not mean that a “new rule” has been created for retroactivity purposes. This is so even if courts disagree on how Strickland applies in these novel factual circumstances. The opinion in Clarke is available here.
- The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals might soon be deciding whether the Padilla retroactivity question. In Ivan Dejesus Chapa v. United States, Case No. 10-CV-1885 (N.D. Ga. June 14, 2011), Magistrate Judge Braverman issued an order recommending the denial of Chapa’s section 2255 habeas petition. The petition itself raised issues of ineffective assistance under Padilla. Magistrate Judge Braverman was not convinced, however, and found the petition meritless on retroactivity (Padilla is a new rule and therefore cannot be applied retroactively) and ineffective assistance of counsel (Chapa’s claim fails under pre-Padilla caselaw) grounds [rulings later adopted by the district judge in the case]. A certificate of appealibility was issued to Chapa, however, allowing him to address the issue of Padilla retroactivity to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Braverman’s report and recommendation is available here.
Apart from the Chapa case, there is a case that may be decided prior to Chapa. The case of United States v. Carmen-Iglesias, 11-12316. will decide the retroactivity of Padilla in a writ of coram nobis application. The issue is to address whether a Padilla claim can be addressed in a writ of error coram nobis to challenge the validity in a plea of guilt that results in deportation proceedings years after the Padilla decision was rendered. The Reply brief is to be filed by October 7, 2011 and a decision is expected soon after.