November 07, 2011
On October 31, 2011, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the cases Lafler v. Cooper and Missouri v. Frye. The question in both cases revolves around what happens when a criminal defendant receives deficient legal advice.
In Lafler v. Cooper, the Court considered whether a criminal defendant who rejects a favorable plea offer based on his lawyer’s advice but who later is convicted and receives a harsher sentence can seek to overturn that sentence on the grounds that his attorney was unconstitutionally deficient.
Missouri v. Frye considered whether a criminal defendant whose lawyer failed to communicate a plea offer from the prosecution can make a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel against the lawyer, and what the courts should do for a defendant in this situation who is later convicted and sentenced.
To discuss the cases, we have Kent Scheidegger, who is the Legal Director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation.