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Counsel's Error Supports Sixth Amendment Claim  

Author:  Roslyn Myers, Ph.D., J.D..

Source: Volume 21, Number 01, December/January 2020 , pp.3-3(1)

Sex Offender Law Report

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In U.S. v. Laureys, 866 F.3d 432 (D.C.Cir. 2017), a defendant charged with “attempted enticement of a minor” and “traveling across state lines with intent to engage in illicit conduct with a child” claimed that his attorney was ineffective, and the District of Columbia (D.C.) Circuit agreed. But, unlike other Sixth Amendment claims, this case did not allege that counsel was unprepared, incompetent, intoxicated during proceedings, or slept during trial. Indeed, the D.C. court called the representation of Laureys conscientious, despite the fact that Laureys’ attorney never tried an insanity case before and seems to have misapprehended the defense of diminished responsibility. “The failure was that trial counsel made a grievous error in using a mental health expert who was so flawed as to be the sort of serious blunder that will single-handedly support [an ineffective assistance of counsel] claim.” (866 F.3d at 440.)

Keywords: U.S. v. Laureys; Ineffective assistance of Counsel

Affiliations:  1: John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

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