Justices Reinstate Long Sentence Despite Bad Counsel Claim

Law360, New York (November 5, 2013, 2:56 PM EST) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a Sixth Circuit decision to grant habeas corpus relief and set aside a convicted murderer's sentence, continuing the high court’s interest in questions surrounding ineffective assistance of counsel at the plea-bargaining stage.

Vonlee Titlow had accused her trial lawyer, Frederick Toca, of being constitutionally ineffective because he advised Titlow to withdraw her guilty plea for the suffocation of her uncle. That decision led to her conviction at trial and a maximum 40-year prison sentence, more than double the...
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