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Name: Johnson v. Uribe
Case #: 11-55187
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 06/22/2012

The appropriate remedy for ineffective assistance of counsel in the plea bargaining process, may be to return petitioner to the pre-plea stage. Appellant pled guilty to all charges and enhancements in exchange for an agreement that he would receive the maximum penalty, would be released on his own recognizance, and if he returned for sentencing, the sentence would be reduced. He did not return and the maximum sentence was imposed. Following his unsuccessful state court appeal based on a claim of IAC, he filed a habeas petition in the federal court. The district court found that he had received ineffective assistance but, regardless, he would have accepted the state’s offer if counsel had provided effective assistance by making sure that the statutory maximum was properly calculated. [Three of the enhancements comprising the maximum penalty were invalid.] As a remedy, the district court remanded for resentencing only. The appellate court found that counsel’s failure to calculate the maximum exposure, in addition to other areas of ineffective assistance, altered the bargaining process to petitioner’s detriment because a correct calculation could have resulted in more favorable plea offers. The only remedy that would place petitioner back to a position if IAC had never occurred would be to set aside his plea and start the process anew.