11/27/2012 12:36:42 PM EST
Prosecutor: No Need to Fear Floodgates if Padilla Retroactive
"By providing that the nation's standards of justice also apply to cases decided before March 31, 2010, a favorable decision in Chaidez will give prosecutors the option, if they desire, to revisit plea agreements that failed to achieve justice the first time around. We need not fear that courts will be flooded with illegitimate claims of ineffective assistance of attorneys for their immigrant clients. Prosecutors and the courts have many tools by which we can dispose of meritless cases. While there are cases in which a prosecutor may believe deportation is appropriate, providing a remedy for those whose pleas were unknowingly made does not undermine those cases. Prosecutors' obligation to do justice does not end once we obtain a conviction; it is not a burden on us to be able to do justice when the system has failed defendants in the past." - Robert Johnson, Nov. 26, 2012.