- Court: United States Supreme Court
- Area(s) of Law: Appellate Procedure
- Date Filed: February 27, 2019
- Case #: 17–1026
- Judge(s)/Court Below: SOTOMAYOR, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and GINSBURG, BREYER, KAGAN, and KAVANAUGH, JJ., joined. THOMAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which GORSUCH, J., joined, and in which ALITO, J., joined as to Parts I and II.
- Full Text Opinion
Petitioner signed plea agreements, each of which included a clause waiving Petitioner’s right to appeal. At sentencing and on multiple other occasions, Petitioner told his counsel that he wanted to appeal, but counsel explained that Petitioner had waived that right. Seeking post-conviction relief, Petitioner alleged that his counsel provided him ineffective assistance by failing to file an appeal. The Idaho Supreme Court ruled against Petitioner, holding that he had failed to show that any deficient performance resulted in prejudice. The United States Supreme Court reversed, applying its prior holding in Roe v. Flores-Ortega, 528 U.S. 470 (2000), that when an attorney’s deficient performance costs a defendant an appeal that the defendant would have otherwise pursued, prejudice to the defendant is presumed. The Court found that Petitioner’s attorney rendered deficient assistance by failing to file an appeal. The Court reasoned that Petitioner’s counsel had cost Petitioner the loss of an entire appeal, thus under Flores-Ortega, prejudice to Petitioner is presumed without further showing. Additionally, the court concluded that even the broadest appeal waivers cannot bar every appellate claim. Resolving a circuit split on the issue, the court held that Flores-Ortega’s rule of presumption of prejudice applies even when a defendant has signed an appeal waiver. REVERSED.