Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Supreme Court Rules Against Murder Defendant Claims Against Attorney

The United States Supreme Court has ruled against a man who claimed that his attorney should have tried to suppress his murder confession.  Randy Moore pleaded no contest to murder charges that involved a 1995 kidnapping.  He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.  After he was sentenced, he appealed his conviction and argued this his attorney should have tried to suppress his confession.  The Oregon courts ruled against Moore, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in his favor and found that his attorney had not acted reasonably by not filing a Motion to Suppress the Confession.  However, in a unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeals.  The Court's opinion was written by Justice Anthony KennedyKennedy held that Moore was limiting his risk by accepting a plea agreement and not going to trial.  Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a concurring opinion.  She pointed out that Moore never once said that he would not have accepted the plea agreement if his attorney had given him more information about his confession.

The case is Premo v. Moore, 09-658.

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