Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Perez: Lafler did not "break new ground"

In In Re Michael Perez, No. 12-12240 (May 25, 2012), the Court held that a § 2255 petitioner was not entitled to raise a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel in a second or successive § 2255 motion. Perez claimed that Missouri v. Frye and Lafler v. Cooper were “new rules of constitutional law” upon which he could rely in a second or successive § 2255 petition. The Court, however, found that these cases did not “break new ground,” because in Hill v. Lockhart the Supreme Court had already extended Strickland’s test for ineffective assistance to the plea bargaining process. In addition, the fact that the Supreme Court decided these two cases on habeas petitions eliminated any doubt as to whether they broke new ground, because, under AEDPA, habeas petitioners must show a decision contrary to “clearly established law” in order to prevail.