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Lee v. United States

United States Supreme Court
137 S. Ct. 1958 (2017)


Facts

Jae Lee (defendant) was living in the United States (plaintiff) but was not a United States citizen. Lee was indicted on possession of ecstasy with intent to distribute. Lee did not have a defense to the charge and was concerned about possible deportation. Lee’s lawyer told him that he would not be deported if he pled guilty. On this advice, Lee pled guilty. As a result of the plea, however, Lee was subject to mandatory deportation. Lee moved to vacate the conviction on the ground that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. The district court found that Lee did receive ineffective assistance of counsel but that given the overwhelming evidence against Lee, the ineffective assistance did not prejudice him. Essentially, the court held that Lee would have been found guilty at trial regardless of his counsel. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Roberts, C.J.)

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