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May 23, 2006

Great student note about IAC and sentencing length

I often find that student notes in law journals do a terrific job covering important sentencing issues that are not regularly addressed by full-time academics.  Another example of this reality comes from this month's Harvard Law Review, which just published a note entitled "Prejudice and Remedies: Establishing a Comprehensive Framework for Ineffective Assistance Length-of-Sentence Claims" (available here).

I thought the nexus of sentencing and ineffective assistance claims was an important issue well before Blakely and Booker came along, and these issues may now be even more important.  Though I've not yet read this note closely, I like the insights in this concluding paragraph:

This Note identifies a variety of situations in which convicted defendants might bring ineffective assistance claims challenging the length of their sentences.  Given the number of different scenarios and the relatively few Supreme Court cases governing these types of claims, one can expect further development of ineffective assistance length-of-sentence doctrine in the future.  Going forward, litigants will have to decide how best to frame their arguments in this developing area of law.  Judges, for their part, will have to draw difficult lines between deserving and undeserving claims.  One can only hope that both groups, acting in concert, will advance and protect the meaning of the constitutional right to effective counsel.

May 23, 2006 at 03:48 PM | Permalink


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