Saksena v. Commissioner of Correction
Although the U.S. Supreme Court concluded in the 2010 case of Padilla v. Kentucky, that the sixth amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires an attorney for a criminal defendant to provide advice about the risk of deportation arising from a guilty plea, in the 2013 case of Chaidez v. U.S., the Court concluded that Padilla does not have retroactive effect. Sharad Saksena appealed from the judgment of the habeas court denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Saksena claimed that the habeas court erred in concluding that his trial counsel did not render ineffective assistance by failing to advise him about the immigration consequences of his 2007 guilty pleas. The Appellate Court disagreed and affirmed the judgment. The petitioner argued that pursuant to Padilla, he was entitled to accurate and specific advice regarding the immigration consequences of his guilty pleas because deportation was a certainty, but his trial counsel failed to render such advice. Subsequent to the filing of the petitioner's brief, however, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded in Chaidez that Padilla does not have retroactive effect. Pursuant to Chaidez, Padilla did not apply in this case. The petitioner further argued, however, that because trial counsel failed to advise him about the immigration consequences of his guilty pleas, the pleas could not be found to have been entered knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily. The claim was found to be without merit. Appellate Court precedent, specifically the 2005 case of Niver v. Commissioner of Correction and 2006 case of State v. Aquino, (reversed on other grounds) which applied to all guilty pleas entered prior to Padilla, held that the failure to inform a defendant as to the immigration consequences of a plea does not render that plea unintelligent or involuntary in a constitutional sense.