This could become a nightmare for the courts as it will undoubtedly be a rich source of appeals for both those in prison as well as those that have been sent to prison and released. Don’t know how it will play out in class law suits but sitting on the sidelines will be fascenating.
“…Plea bargain negotiations between criminals and prosecutors will now come under constitutional scrutiny because a divided Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that convictions can be overturned if defense lawyers don’t adequately assist clients in deciding whether to accept such offers….”
However, what is scary is the sheer scope of such plea bargains. “…The two majority opinions, both written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, have potentially broad impact because 97 percent of federal convictions and 94 percent of state convictions in 2009 were obtained by a guilty plea, according to the Justice Department….” So much for innocence till proven guilty.
My sense is that if the courts ever attack the mandatory minimums the jurisprudence as is practiced today will be stood on its head and the courts will be flooded by trials because the basis of bargaining which is charge high and deal low is the foundation of plea bargaining.