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Supreme Court of the United States
February 25, 2013, Argued; May 28, 2013, Decided
[*416] Justice Breyer delivered the opinion of the Court.
In Martinez v. Ryan, 566 U.S. 1, 132 S. Ct. 1309, 182 L. Ed. 2d 272 (2012), we considered the right of a state prisoner to raise, in a federal habeas corpus proceeding, a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel. In that case an Arizona procedural rule required a defendant convicted at trial to raise a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel during his first state collateral review proceeding — or lose the claim. The defendant in Martinez did not comply with the state procedural rule. But he argued [*417] that the federal habeas court should excuse his state procedural failing, on the ground that he had good “cause” for not raising the claim at the right time, namely, that he not only he lacked effective counsel during trial, but also lacked effective counsel during his first state collateral [****8] review proceeding.
We held that lack of counsel on collateral review might excuse defendant’s state law procedural default. We wrote:
“[A] procedural default will not bar a federal habeas court from hearing a substantial claim of ineffective assistance at trial if, in the [State’s] initial-review collateral proceeding, there was no counsel or counsel in that proceeding was ineffective.” Id., at 17, 132 S. Ct. 1309, 182 L. Ed. 2d 272, 278, 288).
At the same time we qualified our holding. We said that the holding applied where state procedural law said that “claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel must [**1915] be raised in an initial-review collateral proceeding.” Ibid. (emphasis added).
In this case Texas state law does not say “must.” It does not on its face require a defendant initially to raise an ineffective-assistance-of-trial-counsel claim in a state collateral review proceeding. Rather, that law appears at first glance to permit (but not require) the defendant initially to raise a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel on direct appeal. The structure and design of the Texas system in actual operation, however, make it “virtually impossible” for an ineffective assistance claim to be presented [***1050] on [****9] direct review. See Robinson v. State, 16 S.W.3d 808, 810-811 (Tex. Crim. App. 2000). We must now decide whether the Martinez exception applies in this procedural regime. We conclude that it does.
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569 U.S. 413 *; 133 S. Ct. 1911 **; 185 L. Ed. 2d 1044 ***; 2013 U.S. LEXIS 3980 ****; 81 U.S.L.W. 4336; 24 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 220; 2013 WL 2300805
CARLOS TREVINO, Petitioner v. RICK THALER, DIRECTOR, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE, CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS DIVISION
Subsequent History: On remand at, Remanded by Trevino v. Stephens, 740 F.3d 378, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 1131 (5th Cir. Tex., Jan. 21, 2014)
Prior History: [****1] ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
Trevino v. Thaler, 449 Fed. Appx. 415, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 22873 (5th Cir. Tex., 2011)
Disposition: 449 Fed. Appx. 415, vacated and remanded.
trial counsel, direct appeal, ineffective, ineffective assistance claim, collateral proceeding, procedural default, collateral review, ineffective-assistance-of-trial-counsel, proceedings, sentencing, default, ineffective assistance, trial court, raising, state law, initial-review, reasons, postconviction proceedings, motion for a new trial, assistance of counsel, failure to raise, direct review, federal court, penalty phase, new counsel, state court, mitigating circumstances, meaningful opportunity, constitutional claim, rules of procedure
Constitutional Law, Fundamental Rights, Criminal Process, Assistance of Counsel, Criminal Law & Procedure, Exceptions to Default, Cause & Prejudice Standard, Exceptions, Jurisdiction, Cognizable Issues, Threshold Requirements, Habeas Corpus, Independent & Adequate State Grounds, Adequate & Independent Principle, Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, Proof of Cause