High Court To Judges: Appeal Waivers Aren't Sacrosanct

By Jody Godoy (February 27, 2019, 8:07 PM EST) -- The U.S. Supreme Court made clear Wednesday that criminal defendants have the right to initiate an appeal even after pleading guilty and waiving most of their appeal rights, a ruling that some hope will prompt scrutiny of the commonplace practice of requiring such waivers in plea deals.

In Garza v. Idaho, the court considered whether or not a lawyer should be considered ineffective for failing to file a notice of appeal in cases where the defendant has already signed away the right to appeal as part of a plea agreement. The waivers are common in criminal cases and often prevent defendants...

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