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Steven T. Marshall
Alabama Attorney General www.ago.alabama.gov

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Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 March 13, 2017

ALABAMA FILES SUPREME COURT BRIEF OPPOSING IMMIGRANT’S ATTEMPT TO VACATE HIS CONVICTION BECAUSE HIS GUILTY PLEA LED TO HIS DEPORTATION

Immigrant’s Claim of Bad Advice from Lawyer, Which Led to His Deportation, Does Not Override Overwhelming of Evidence of His Guilt

(MONTGOMERY) – Alabama Attorney General Steven T. Marshall filed a brief with the United States Supreme Court Monday opposing an immigrant’s motion to vacate his conviction on drug charges because he claimed to receive bad advice from his attorney, which led to his deportation.

Alabama led 19 other States today in filing an amicus brief in the case Lee v United States of America which will be heard by the Supreme Court on March 28, 2017.  Alabama and the other States argued that an immigrant defendant who is clearly guilty of a crime should not be able to vacate his conviction merely because he was misinformed about whether he would be deported.

“The federal government needs to incarcerate and deport immigrants who commit serious crimes,” said Attorney General Marshall.  “An immigrant defendant who pleads guilty should not have his conviction vacated simply because he did not know he would be deported, as long as there is overwhelming evidence of his guilt.

“Those who support this case seek a radical departure from existing legal precedent which allows a guilty plea to be vacated only if the evidence in the case casts doubt on whether the defendant would be convicted in a new trial.

“By ruling in favor of the defendant, the Supreme Court would unleash a torrent of court challenges upon the federal government and the States, forcing prosecutors to relitigate pleas years after the fact in cases where the ultimate outcome would not have changed,” he added.

Joining Alabama in filing the amicus brief were Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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A copy of the 30-page multi-state brief filed by Alabama is attached

 

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