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Premo v. Moore

United States Supreme Court
569 U.S. ___ (2011)


Facts

Randy Moore (defendant) and two accomplices kidnapped Kenneth Rogers. Ultimately Moore shot Rogers, killing him. Moore told his brother and an accomplice's girlfriend about the incident, stating that they had kidnapped Rogers and taken him to the woods, but that Moore had slipped and his gun had discharged accidentally. Moore said the same thing to police during questioning. Moore's counsel considered filing a motion to suppress the confession to police, but ultimately decided against it in lieu of a plea bargain. At the advice of his counsel, Moore pled no contest to felony murder and was sentenced to 300 months, the minimum sentence. The prosecution had been considering a capital murder charge. After his conviction, Moore filed a habeas corpus petition, claiming that his counsel's failure to file a motion to suppress the confession amounted to ineffective assistance of counsel. The trial court ruled against Moore under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984), based on Moore's counsel's explanation that even if the confession to the police were suppressed, the prosecution still could call Moore's brother or his accomplice's girlfriend to testify to Moore's confession to them. Moore appealed, and the United Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

Concurrence (Ginsburg, J.)

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