Statement of ABA President Lamm Re: Supreme Court Ruling in Padilla v. Kentucky
CHICAGO, March 31, 2010 — Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States underscores how significantly our nation’s immigration laws have changed in recent years and how dramatic the impact of those changes are when noncitizens are accused of crimes. As Associate Justice John Paul Stevens said in the majority opinion, “The importance of accurate legal advice for noncitizens accused of crimes has never been more important.” It rightly places the burden on criminal defense lawyers to understand that pleading guilty to certain crimes will result in deportation, and acknowledges that deportation can be an even more important penalty “than any potential jail sentence” to a noncitizen. As the court also noted, the _ standards reflect the prevailing norms of practice and the intersection of modern criminal prosecutions and immigration law. We will to continue, and even redouble our efforts, to make sure that defense lawyers have the tools they need to fulfill their Constitutionally mandated role and our system ensures due process and access to justice as recommended by the ABA report on Reforming the Immigration System: Proposals to Promote Independence, Fairness, Efficiency, and Professionalism in the Adjudication of Removal Cases.
To read today’s ruling, click here.
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