Ineffective Assistance in Plea Negations

There is an interesting cert petition before the Supreme Court as noted by the SCOTUS blog:

Anaya v. Lumpkin involves burdens of proof for defendants claiming that they rejected a plea deal based on incorrect advice of counsel. David Anaya was indicted in Texas on charges of murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, for which he claimed self-defense. Anaya rejected a plea offer after his lawyer advised him that, under Texas law, his failure to retreat from the situation “did not matter or make a difference” for his self-defense claim. However, his lawyer was incorrect because Anaya’s status as a felon in possession of a weapon meant that his failure to retreat was relevant. At trial, the government focused on Anaya’s failure to leave the situation even though he was in a car at the time he shot the victim. He received sentences akin to a life sentence. Anaya’s petition before the Supreme Court involves his claim that he received ineffective assistance of counsel in rejecting the plea offer. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit recognized that Anaya received deficient performance but ruled against Anaya because the government could have withdrawn the plea offer. In his petition, Anaya argues that the 5th Circuit’s ruling conflicts with Supreme Court cases on ineffective assistance leading to rejected plea deals.

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