Friday, September 14, 2018

Louisiana Supreme Court reverses conviction applying McCoy v Louisiana (in which the US Supreme Court had reversed the Louisiana Supreme Court)

As you may recall, back in May the US Supreme Court issued its opinion in McCoy v Louisiana, an eagerly awaited case on whether an attorney has the authority to concede a client's guilt in order to seek leniency at sentencing.  The Court held that the attorney did not have such authority and that because he acted against the client's will, the conduct constituted a reversible error.  For reasons I discussed elsewhere, I consider McCoy to be only a partial victory, but that is another story you can read about here.

In McCoy, the Louisiana Supreme Court had held that the attorney's concession of guilt had been a tactical decision within his authority; but the US Supreme Court held that type of decision related to the objective of the representation and therefore belonged to the client and reversed.

Now comes news that the Louisiana Supreme Court learned the lesson and has reversed a conviction in a new case that presented the same issue.  The case is called Louisiana v Horn and you can read the opinion here.

The Legal Profession blog has a summary here.

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