New Mexico Court of Appeals on Padilla Retroactivity: State v. Ramirez

"Martin Ramirez, a/k/a Richard Sanchez, (Petitioner) appeals the district court's denial of his writ of coram nobis, which sought to vacate Petitioner's twelve-year-old conviction due to ineffective assistance of counsel under State v. Paredez, 2004 NMSC 36, 136 N.M. 533, 101 P.3d 799.  Paredez requires appointed counsel to instruct defendants about the specific immigration consequences associated with a conviction for the charged crime prior to pleading guilty. Id. ¶ 9.  This duty is more pressing in a case like this in which deportation was a near certainty for a relatively minor offense.  The district court denied the writ on the ground that the rule announced in Paredez should not be applied retroactively to collateral challenges to final judgments and sentences.  We reverse and hold that the ineffective assistance of counsel rules stated in Paredez and Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473, 1486, 176 L. Ed. 2d 284 (2010) (holding that defense counsel must inform his or her client whether the client's plea carries a risk of deportation) are but extensions of a previously entrenched duty to provide representation and are retroactive.  We remand for further proceedings consistent with this Opinion." - State v. Ramirez, April 16, 2012.

Coverage by the Albuquerque Journal, July 26, 2012.