On February 20, 2013, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Chaidez v. United States. The question in this case was whether the Court’s 2010 decision in Padilla v. Kentucky--which held that a defense attorney’s failure to inform a non-citizen criminal defendant of the deportation risk associated with a guilty plea constituted ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment--applies retroactively to convictions made before the 2010 decision.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Kagan, the Court held by a vote of 7-2 that Padilla does not apply retroactively to cases that have reached a final decision on direct review. Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Breyer and Alito joined Justice Kagan’s majority opinion. Justice Thomas filed a concurring opinion. Justice Sotomayor filed dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justice Ginsburg.
To discuss the case, we have Richard Myers, who is Associate Dean for Student Affairs and the George R. Ward Associate Professor of Law at UNC School of Law.