Prof. Berman at Sentencing Law & Policy notes a cert denial in Davis v. United States, No. 22–5364, that prompted this short dissent authored by Justice Jackson and joined by Justice Sotomayor.
Our criminal justice system today is “for the most part a system of pleas, not a system of trials.” Lafler v. Cooper, 566 U.S. 156, 170 (2012). Against this backdrop, this Court has recognized that the loss of an opportunity for a favorable plea offer due to an attorney’s deficient performance can violate the Sixth Amendment right to effective counsel. Id., at 169–170; see also Missouri v. Frye, 566 U.S. 134 (2012). Petitioner Quartavious Davis alleged, and the Eleventh Circuit did not dispute, that he satisfied the first prong of the Strickland ineffective-assistance-of-counsel standard because his attorney failed to initiate plea negotiations with the Government. The question presented, then, is how can a defendant like Davis show “prejudice” as a result of this failure?...
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