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Name: Weaver v. Palmateer
Case #: 04-36020
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 07/17/2006

Defense counsel did not provide ineffective assistance in advising defendant to accept a plea bargain. Defendant was a suspect in at least 19 rapes that spanned four counties in two states. Counsel negotiated a plea that required defendant to plead guilty to four crimes, but then defendant moved to withdraw his pleas alleging they were coerced by counsel; the motions were denied. Defendant filed a state habeas writ which alleged IAC and that his pleas were not knowing or voluntary, and that was denied. Defendant filed another habeas writ making the same allegations and this time it was granted. The Ninth Circuit reversed. The court noted the basis for the state courts’ rejection of defendant’s ineffective assistance claims was an implicit finding by the state courts that his testimony during state habeas proceedings was incredible, and that his attorney’s testimony was credible. The state court’s acceptance of counsel’s testimony was either correct or at least entitled to deference. The court also held that defendant failed to demonstrate prejudice. Not only did defendant faced the possibility of a considerably longer prison sentence, but also the record showed he had his own reasons for pleading guilty completely aside from the strength of the case against him.