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Name: Womack v. Del Papa
Case #: 06-15069
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 08/13/2007

Applying the Strickland (Strickland v. Washington (1984) 466 U.S. 668) standard of ineffective assistance of counsel to a guilty plea case, defendant must show: (1) counsel’s representation fell below an objective standard of reasonableness, and (2) there is a reasonable probability that but for counsel’s errors, appellant would not have pled guilty but instead would have opted for a jury trial. (Hill v. Lockhart (1985) 474 U.S. 52.)

Womack claimed his trial attorney provided ineffective assistance because he counseled Womack to plead guilty because it was his best chance to receive 30 or 40 years. The claim failed because it was belied by the record, particularly the written plea form and the judge’s advisement of life term exposure at the plea hearing.