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COA addresses impact of guilty pleas on immigration status

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a man’s petitions for post-conviction relief, finding his attorneys’ failure to advise him of adverse immigration consequences of pleading guilty did not prejudice his defense.

In Manuel Trujillo v. State of Indiana, No. 71A03-1102-PC-73, Manuel Trujillo appealed the denial of his petitions for post-conviction relief stemming from two cases – one in 1999 and one in 2008 – when he pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy to deal marijuana. After he pleaded guilty in 2008 he was deported to Mexico, from where he immigrated in 1974.

Trujillo argued that his attorneys in both cases rendered ineffective assistance by not alerting him of the possibility of deportation in the event he pleaded guilty to a drug charge. The appellate court declined to address the issues raised in Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S.Ct. 1473 (2010), involving the responsibility of counsel, and also whether that case is retroactive, because the judges could resolve Trujillo’s case on grounds of lack of a showing of prejudice.

Regarding his 1999 conviction, Trujillo admitted at the post-conviction hearing that he would have pleaded guilty even if he had been told at the time about possible deportation. Regarding the 2008 conviction, the appellate court rejected his argument that his case is a “special circumstance” within the meaning of Segura v. State, 749 N.E.2d. 496 (Ind. 2001). Trujillo did not demonstrate he suffered prejudice as a result of neither of his attorneys advising him on the adverse immigration consequences of pleading guilty.

The COA also cited Williams v. State, 641 N.E.2d 44 (Ind. Ct. App. 1994), to reject Trujillo’s claim that the trial court had a duty to inquire whether he understood that a guilty plea might carry with it negative immigration consequences.
 

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  1. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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